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Creations


Création

Introduction
The Lounge
Creating at Sea

Meraviglia

ViaggioSonor

Bellissima

SymaVarélia



 


Experience Cirque du Soleil... on a cruise!

On November 9, 2015, MSC Cruises announced a long-term partnership with Cirque du Soleil to create a total of eight brand new shows exclusively for MSC guests aboard the cruise line's next-generation Meraviglia-class ships that would set "new standards in live entertainment at sea" in multi-million dollar, ground-breaking entertainment and dining venues. Back in 2013 Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, is said to have had a vision to take the entertainment offered on board his ships to the next level. Since MSC Cruises seeks to work with innovative, world-class leaders, it was only natural to approach Cirque du Soleil. The 4,500-passenger MSC Meraviglia, the initial ship in the class, is the first cruise ship ever to feature a multi-million dollar, ground-breaking entertainment and dining venue able to meet the unique needs of Cirque du Soleil also whilst at sea. And so far it's been a great success!  
MSC Meraviglia: • Viaggio (Jun.04.2017)
• Sonor (Jun.18.2017)
MSC Bellissima: • Syma (Mar.2019)
• Varélia (Mar.2019)
MSC Grandiosa: • Show #5 (Nov.2019)
• Show #6 (Nov.2019)
MSC Virtuosa: • Show #7 (Mar.2020)
• Show #8 (Mar.2020)
 

Carousel Lounge

 






For each ship, Cirque du Soleil was tasked to create two very different, contrasting shows - each with a different concept, ambiance, storyline, costumes and make-up - lasting up to 40 minutes and to be performed twice a night for six nights in the ship's £20m Carousel Lounge high-tech theatre. The lounge was designed by MSC Cruises together with the Architect Marco De Jorio. Equipped with the most cutting-edge technology and special rigging, the 10,760 sq ft, 450-seat space is very intimate - one of the smallest venues for Cirque du Soleil - but one that enables the performers to deliver sublime performances, making the interaction between the guest and performers even more magical.

The carousel name was chosen to convey the combined spirit of MSC Cruises, offering unforgettable experiences, and of Cirque du Soleil's unique performances, conjuring up festive and magical emotions. There is something inherently captivating about a carousel - the music, colours, lights, and movement all combine in a unique, breath-taking experience. But it's not just about the visual experience: "We wanted to elevate the experience even further for our guests and for this we have worked hand in hand to create the first Dinner & Show experience on our fleet," said Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer of MSC Cruises.

The dinner experience is a gastronomic delight, where every detail from the table settings, the costumes, the music and visual effects through to the menus have been specially designed to complement each pre-show experience. The dining experience starts one hour before the show performance begins and is a treat for the senses with surprise animation from performers, live music, stylish table settings topped off with a table d'hôte three-course menu of eclectic creative dishes. Other guests can enjoy a Cocktail & Show experience that begins 30 minutes before the performance starts and includes a specially designed signature cocktail and tempting treats.

Creating at Sea

Creating a cruise show brings up some unconventional theatrical considerations. "You have to keep that high level that Cirque offers of acrobatic performance, but you're not on flat unmovable land," said Susan Gaudreau, the show's director. "It upped the level for us a little bit." Plus, space on a cruise ship is limited. The intimate Carousel Lounge can accommodate 413 spectators, a fraction of the big-top settings that can seat up to 2,500. The setting called for added creativity. "The trapeze wouldn't work because the ceiling is a lower height than what a big top is," Gaudreau said. They had to find other ways to move performers through the air, such as using aerial tracks and creating a carousel that transports them.

That wasn't the only challenge. Gaudreau and Marie-Hélène Delage, creative director of Cirque du Soleil at Sea, knew that they were limited to one theater, one cast and one crew, but they needed to create two unique shows with their own costumes and concepts. "We wanted them to be as different as possible," Delage said. "Not only in aesthetics but also in the acrobatic performance." That meant they needed to find a range of abilities in anyone they hired, so that they could call on a particular circus talent in the first show - say, juggling - and then another in the next show - say, aerial work - to keep the productions distinct and audiences enthralled. "If you came to both shows you would not even recognize the same artists; you wouldn't even know it was the same team of designers that created the two shows," Gaudreau said.

While audiences shouldn't expect any heavy nautical themes at the shows, Gaudreau says they should look for a wink to the unique setting: "We call it ‘a little kudos to life at sea.'"

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MSC Meraviglia is packed with extraordinary features that offer the perfect experience at sea in every season. On board you can enjoy outstanding, authentic dining options and out-of-this-world entertainment with new panoramic areas, an innovative ocean-view aft lounge, and a spectacular amusement area connected to an outdoor water park. Other features include: a 315 ft. central promenade filled with boutiques, restaurants and tranquil spots for shopping, eating and relaxing... as well as socialising. (The entire ceiling of which is covered by a giant 5,200 sq.ft. LED screen transmitting visual magic around the clock: an atmospheric digital sky that animates the whole area from above with inspiring vistas, events, sunrises, sunsets, and starry night skies.) There's also spas, pools, bars, lounges, a sportsplex, and more! But naturally we're interested in VIAGGIO and SONOR...

VIAGGIO


 
VIAGGIO is the story of a passionate and eccentric artist who hears the call of his Faceless Muse, a woman he has attempted to paint many times but always in vain. Mysterious and seductive, she beckons the Painter to boldly cross the threshold between reality and illusion into the vivid landscape of his unbridled imagination where he will finally complete his masterpiece. Animated by the music from his old radio, each stroke of the Painter’s brush reveals the details of his grandiose tableau. Electrifying colours fill the theatre with intriguing motifs and rich textures. A majestic aerial performance comes to life and the artists weave a vivid tapestry, transforming the theatre into a canvas. A lyrical duo of dancers mirrors the amorous interplay between the Painter and his Faceless Muse. Suspended high above the crowd, jugglers enter the scene and become part of this surrealist artwork, multi-coloured acrobats soar through hoops, and ladders reach for the heavens, celebrating the artist’s impossible quest. The space around the Painter becomes a living canvas for his imaginary world. Before our very eyes, a masterpiece comes to life.

Creative Team

  • Creation Director — Marie-Hélène Delage
  • Show Director — Susan Gaudrea
  • Choreographer — James Greg
  • Acrobatic Performance — Nadia Richer
  • Equipment & Rigging — Pierre Masse
  • Lighting Designer — Alexandre Picotte
  • Multimedia Designer — Alexis Laurence
  • Composer & Music Director — Maxim Lepage
  • Sound Designer — Jean-Michel Caron
  • Costume Designer — Liz Vandal
  • Makeup Designer — Maryse Gosselin

Scenes / Acts

  • Painter’s Studio — Character/choreography
  • Wind Tunnel and colours — A-frame ladder flight with aerial silks
  • Transition Aerial to Juggling — Video
  • Transition Bike — Rigged double bike
  • Brotherly Brushes — Juggling
  • Cloud Transition — Video
  • Painter’s Reflection — Hand to Hand Acro Duet
  • Shadows transition — Video
  • The Painter’s Act — Acro Ladder
  • Introduction to Finale — Panels with choreography
  • The Masterpiece — Charivari
  • Salut — Bows

Personages

The tale of the Surrealist Painter, who, in pursuit of his haunting yet Faceless Muse, steps boldly into the surreal and magical landscape of his own unfinished painting, and discovers that both artistry and inspiration come in many varied and fantastical forms. The VIAGGIO characters are inspired by the surrealist world, which are represented by the Painter (Real) and the Muse (Surreal). The others characters are an interpretation/representation of a surreal object. The main inspiration being the surrealist imagery, the designers used the surrealist archetypes and actual clothing looks. Magritte was also a big inspiration, with its Derby hats and Classical men’s suits, butterflies and blue sky and clouds. Prints are used throughout, adding to the “surrealist” theme of the show, along with all sorts of bold colours: red, to represent the intensity of the Muse, pink, green, yellow, orange in addition to the colours in nature – sky blue, grass green and cloudy white.

  • THE PAINTER — An eccentric and passionate artist. The Painter is the heartof the story. In search of discovering his Faceless Muse, he journeys through the illusionary and vivid world of his surrealist imagination in order to complete his Masterpiece. As main character of the show, the painter lives in the real world. He is a real man saturated by the pigments and colours that he works with. This is reflected in his make-up, which is natural with splashes of colour.

  • THE MUSE — Alluring yet always elusive to the Painter, the Faceless Muse is graceful and poetic. Enticing the Painter to cross the threshold between reality and imagination, the Faceless Muse guides him through a voyage of magical discoveries. After she reveals herself to him, he can complete his Masterpiece. The Muse starts with a painting of a woman’s face hidden by a giant butterfly, wearing a red dress with mermaid legs, blending the butterfly with the beta fish wings. Supported by the show’s female characters, portrayed by creatures midway between the sky and the ocean. She is the current piece of art of the painter. She is a dream that can never fully be created in his mind. The Muse is his inspiration, his masterpiece, the image that keeps him striving to stay true to his work. A formation of childhood memories; his first love, his mother. She is part painting, part woman, part mermaid. Inside her dress is a memory of a sunset hidden that is reflecting all the way to her face. This sunset and the colours are reflected in her make-up design.

  • THE BROTHERLY BRUSHES — Two loud, expressive brothers, who speak an indecipherable language. They are theatrical, comical characters. They are human brushes with different colours; one is green the other orange. Their moustaches are painted on to fit with the surrealist theme. The tip of their eyebrows and moustaches are dipped in their respective colour just like a paint brush. Their moustaches have flicked the paint on their cheeks to create freckles. These characters evolve from a classical “British Gentlemen” look and feel (tweed suit, vintage style). They have two very distinct personalities from one another. They are argumentative with each other yet work together despite the fact that they can never agree on anything.

  • THE COLORS — Aerialists represent the paint colours with which the painter works. As they move dramatically through the air, their costumes create a visual movement of flying colour and texture. The make-ups for these characters is designed in accord with their respecting costume and character colour. For the Hand to hand/ Colours characters, their make-up is an hybrid between two different roles they play in the show. The main role they play is the reflection of The Painter and The Muse in a dream vision of The Painter. The Blue artist is an hybrid between The Muse and the Colour concept. The Orange artist has the orange blending a little more discretely than the other Colours men and the blue painted line only on his jaw line. The Green artist is also a Portal character so her make-up has been adapted a little for the two characters.

  • THE PORTALS — Cheer and stunts represent the motion of the paint movingacross the canvas. They are portals between the real and surreal worlds. These characters are inspired by their costumes and surrealist art. The key to the concept of the makeup design was to have different painting techniques to fit with the story of the show. Some designs feature washing effects, others stippling or flicking even dabbling. The point was to convey the feeling of a work of art in the make-up of every artist.

Music

Viaggio is telling the story of a painter, linked to the surrealist period. This called for neo-classical style, music featured during the surrealist era. Poulenc, Ravel, Debussy, Satie are all French composers who were an inspiration for this. Also, French music like “valses-musettes” from performers like Patachou and Frehel were also inspirations. These are references, with strong melodies played by accordions and violins, that have, for sure, also inspired Yann Thiersen in Amelie Poulain, but Cirque's case they chose a more classical approach rather than pop.

The melodies in this project remain extremely important; the orchestration is always colorful and calls a lot to the imagination. To express "surrealism", Lepage used sometime, like these composers, a few soft dissonances or weird harmonic juxtapositions, which creates a feeling of strangeness, but most of the time, when used with major chords, just a feeling of magic. The task here was to stay on the joyful and colorful side of the spectrum, as requested by Susan for this show. The light use of touches of piano, harp, celesta and glockenspiel also brings touches of magic here and there.

Lepage also used syncopations like the ones found in modern dance or house music, but here used by classical instruments, for example, like the clarinets found in the The Brotherly Brushes. The envelope is completely classical but the content is basically dance music and, most satisfyingly, often brings the audience to handclap.

Gallery


SONOR


 
With sound at its heart, SONOR takes us on an auditory adventure with dancers, acrobats and characters, all moving to a rhythm. Its beat stimulates the senses and fuels our emotions. Main character Sonor, a playful, elusive virtual character, first appears in the form of a single sound. Continually altering in appearance, Sonor guides the audience through the show and instigates all that is seen and heard. His nemesis, the Sound Thief, explodes into life and takes on a strangely human form. The Sound Thief traps and steals sounds, accumulating them like treasures and uses them as playthings for his own amusement. In their struggle over sounds, Sonor and the Sound Thief lead each other through a series of unique and captivating acts, taking our senses along for the ride. Sound is the ultimate winner of this joyous battle and is transformed into a symphony of artistic and acoustic movements. SONOR conjures a world of unique sensations, astonishing sounds, bold music and immersive projections. It culminates in a grand finale for the senses.

Creative Team

  • Creation Director — Marie-Hélène Delage
  • Show Director — Susan Gaudrea
  • Choreographer — James Greg
  • Acrobatic Performance — Nadia Richer
  • Equipment & Rigging — Pierre Masse
  • Lighting Designer — Alexandre Picotte
  • Multimedia Designer — Alexis Laurence
  • Composer & Music Director — Maxim Lepage
  • Sound Designer — Jean-Michel Caron
  • Costume Designer — Liz Vandal
  • Makeup Designer — Maryse Gosselin

Scenes / Acts

  • The Opening — Video
  • Sound Thief — Character work
  • Motion of Sound — Cyr Wheel
  • Transition: Sound Throwing — Character work
  • Visual of Sound — Straps and Vertical Dance
  • Transition: "Ne me quitte pas" — Character work
  • Human Symphony — Beatbox Number
  • Seeing through Movements — Dance Number
  • Artistry of Sound — Hoop act and walking globe
  • Vibration of Sound Finale — Acro Partner Stunts and Dance
  • Salut — Bows

Personages

The thread throughout the show is the playful interaction between a virtual character and the Sound Thief. The virtual character Sonor loves to tease the Sound Thief by playing games with him. The main goal was to create costumes that would replicate real-life clothing, creating a ‘tribal-futuristic-avant-garde’ collection. The chicness of greys is explored throughout - cold greys and warm greys, with shiny and mat fabrics, creating a multitude of combinations, creating a subtle but rich palette. The beauty of this choice of greys is that it reacts to the light in amazing ways, the costumes literally becoming the colour of the light - if the light is a cold colour, the cold greys react to it and vice-versa for the warm colours.

  • SONOR — Sonor is represented by a video image – a likeable, light, abstract, and morphing character that is always elusive to the Sound Thief. This image has a specific sound that is heard throughout the show. During the Human Symphony Act, Sonor is personified (becomes embodied) in the Beatboxer. Sonor is a playful, visual character that interacts with the audience through video projection, lighting paths and sound trajectories. Comparable to the circus ring master, he instigates what is heard and seen and he leads the audience into a musical journey. Continuously altering its appearance throughout the show, Sonor guides the audience through an auditory voyage full of rich and unimaginable acts. The Sonor character represents purity and the opposite pole to the Sound Thief. All dressed in white, with a glittering skin tone motifs creates the effect of a soft lace.

  • SOUND THIEF — Expressive and charismatic; the Sound Thief’s motivation is to take everything he can hear and store it within his body. In constant interaction with Sonor, whom he wishes to capture, The Sound Thief can either project or accumulate sound through the physical movements of his body. A physical dancer/mover, his character is dark in appearance and he is always surrounded by smoke. This character gets very close to the different sounds that provide him with energy but sound is a very powerful element so that when he gets too close to the sounds he can get burned. To represent this, the make-up has been designed to represent a burned mask around his eyes. This is covered by a high collar for some of the show.

  • THE TRIBE — The SONOR artists are seen as a support for the sense of Sound. Seen as a tribe, they all have their own particularities but together they are all linked, personifying sounds imagined and captured by the Sound Thief. The concept for this show is modern and contemporary. The lines for the make-up had to be clean, inspired by the fashion runway but not too futuristic. The artists represent a tribe living in a parallel universe but they are human. Their costumes are similar but with personalised touches on each and this inspired the approach for the make-up designs. So the makeup has similar themes but is personalised for each artist featuring decoration with different geometric styles. Theses shapes represent sound being captured by each artist. They can feel, breathe and communicate through the decoration close to their ears. Theses shapes placed close together create a sound energy.

  • THE CYR WHEEL — This artist is spreading the sound through the UV light reflecting from his costume. The white arched lines on his face are creating a perfect UV sphere as she is fabricating sound energy true to his act. The Cyr wheel costume is more on the classical side, in shades of grays, with a snake motif, a costume which illuminates when the UV lights are turned on, bringing abstraction to the human shape, becoming a luminous star twirling infinitely.

  • ARTISTRY OF SOUND (HOOPS) — his character is very light and very pure. She is simple and young. She possess the silver element of sound, which is very small and refined. To show how this sound is channelled, the make-up design features a small line from her lips through to her throat.

Music

The concept for Sonor was that the sound would be at the heart of everything. Hence, sound here is very important. That somewhat abstract aspect naturally oriented the style toward a more modern direction. Electronic music gives so many possibilities with playing, transforming and even creating new sounds, that it became an obvious choice. However, the real concern that electronic would bring a cold ambiance brought the idea to add human sounds in every numbers. This "human" participation was meant to balance the warmth of the show and to bring an organic and friendlier side. Human panting, breath, shouts, singing and other body sounds like clapping and kiss sounds are all displayed in various ways during the show. The sound characterizing the entity of Sonor was thought to be Morse-code-like by the director, which can symbolize communication. At the same time, Lepage thought of using ’Sine’ wave for Sonor, the simplest and purest form of sound waves, which, funnily, happened to be used originally for Morse codes.

Gallery


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In 2017, MSC Cruises partnered with Cirque du Soleil, the world-leader in live entertainment, to offer a unique onboard experience: Cirque du Soleil at Sea. With this unique long-term partnership, MSC Cruises has set new standards in live entertainment at sea, with 8 original and breathtaking shows not available anywhere else in the world, launching exclusively across MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia generation ships. MSC Meraviglia was the first ship to debut the new Cirque du Soleil at Sea concept with the launch of the two shows VIAGGIO and SONOR in June 2017, and now SYMA and VARELIA for MSC Bellissima.

SYMA

SAIL BEYOND IMAGINATION

A fantastical odyssey into the heart of an imaginary world, and the search for a mysterious island inhabited by phantasmagorical creatures.


 
Aboard her boat, a young sailor with a prolific imagination dreams of fabled lands. While navigating a violent storm, she capsizes, sinks into the depths of the sea, and finds herself in the enchanted kingdom of mermaids. Returning to the surface, the sailor is lost and disoriented. A giant sea creature, emerging from the waters, comes to her aid and guides her to a mysterious island. There, she meets a strange being defying the laws of gravity. The sailor descends with him into the heart of the island where she ventures into a surreal jungle. While in the jungle, the sailor meets the chief of the tribe, a character who is all at once intimidating and benevolent, who recognizes the sailor as one of his own. Before leaving this enchanted island, the entire tribe gathers for a ritual and festive celebration. The sailor returns to reality, her heart rich with the experiences from the edge of imagination. Immersive video images, an original set design, bioluminescent lighting and acrobatic feats make SYMA an unforgettable show.

Creative Team

  • Line Producer — Nathalie Enault
  • Production Director — Anh-Dao Bui
  • Creative Director — David Pulin
  • Stage Director — Benjamin Dupont
  • Assistant Director — Edesia Moreno Barata
  • Acrobatic Performance — Edesia Moreno Barata
  • Costume Designer — Nicolas Vaudelet
  • Makeup Designer — Maryse Gosselin
  • Composer & Music Director — Félix-Antoine Couturier
  • Lighting Designer — Mathieu Poirier
  • Multimedia Designer — Jean-Sébastien Baillat
  • Sound Designer — Pierre-Luc Brunet
  • Choreographer — Edgar Zendejas
  • Technical Director - Theatre — Eric Bouchard
  • Technical Director - Production — Richard Piquet

Scenes / Acts

  • The Storm — Aerial Pole
  • Underwater — Bungee Dance
  • The Strange One — Leviwand / Manipulation
  • Magical Jungle — Antipodism
  • The Bounce — Skipping

Personages

The creatures we meet along our Sailor’s journey are inspired by nature, sporting an organic aesthetic. Each character has a unique textile pattern. Bones, fossils, X-rays of marine fauna and fish scales have all been infused into the design of costumes. The knots, braiding, straws and raffia were used to convey the more primitive spirit of the show authentically, rather than have them feel as though they were created with modern methods of fabrication.

  • THE SAILOR — Syma, a young sailor, has a prolific imagination. She still has her child-like mind and she uses origami to channel her imagination. She is adventurous and, after many days of mental preparation, she sails away from her coastal village to reach a legendary island. Throughout her exploratory journey, she will encounter fear, hope, beauty and friendship. Syma is a sailor and a brave adventurer. She is known for her affinity for lollipops, which give her lips a gradient color. She also has prominent freckles, a result of her prolonged escapades in the sun.

  • THE UNDERWATER CREATURES — They embody the legendary mermaids of the ocean. Living in a parallel underwater universe, these fascinating deep-sea creatures dance a hypnotic and weightless ballet. They will save the sailor and bring him back to surface. These enchanting aquatic creatures can charm and hypnotize. Their makeup will transform depending on the time in the story and stage lights thanks to the use of UV makeup.

  • THE GIANT JELLYFISHES — These two giant translucent characters will help Syma to cross the ocean to get to his mysterious destination: the legendary island.

  • THE STRANGE ONE — He is an eccentric outcast, living alone near the beach. He defies the laws of gravity and mesmerises whoever he encounters. He will guide Syma to further explore the depths of the island jungle.

  • THE NYMPH — These vivid bushes are no ordinary plants. From this surreal jungle, a nymph emerges and plays with spherical fruits.

  • THE CHIEF — The Chief is the leader of the island tribe. At first intimidating behind his big mask, he turns out to be benevolent and will recognise Syma as one of his own. He will give her a very special present: a magical origami that can help her travel to this fantasy island whenever she wants and protect her from future dangers.

  • THE ISLANDERS — They love to party and gather for festive celebration! With them, Syma will participate in a joyful rite of passage. After the festivity, Syma will return home riding a giant origami bird; she will return to reality.

Sceneography

 




The original idea was that an MSC Cruises’ ship is like an island in the middle of the ocean. The guests on board MSC Bellissima are embarking on a journey of discovery, just like the main character of the show. The show title could have been ‘some place’ as it is all about exploring the world, travelling from different places and meeting with extravagant creatures. The journey matters more than the destination. SYMA is the story of a journey of initiation: a rite of passage for the young sailor. Drawing strength from Mother Nature, the character will experience the torments of danger, fear, solitude but also the wonders of discovery, friendship, hope and beauty.

  • MATERIALS — During creation, mood boards were a mix of vivid colours and natural textures. All the scenographic elements are tangible, physical and organic. The key stage device is a threefaced pyramid which will serve different purposes: acrobatics, scenography, props and will also be used as a canvas for video mapping.

  • MUSIC — SYMA’s score is epic and cinematic, lyrical and adventurous. The performance is a saga of many twists and turns and a formidable inner journey. The music conveys the emotions the characters and the audience can all experience when embarking on a wild and unknown adventure: fear, hope, danger along with the wonder and beauty of an imaginary world.

  • SPECIAL EFFECTS — Video Projection Mapping: Video projection mapping is used during the show to project visual content on tangible set elements and props, such as the 3-faced pyramid and the mask of the Chief. This technology enhances the guest experience by animating static objects and surfaces. The feeling of watching objects becoming alive is very exciting. We want guests to ask themselves, “How did they do that?” This visual effect also helps the narration of the show, bringing life to the story on stage. It creates an immersive experience in the intimacy of the Carousel Lounge.

Gallery


VARELIA

LOVE IN FULL COLOR

Discover VARÉLIA, a tale of modern chivalry, where love and courage triumph over the greatest divides.


 
Varélia is a princess whose rare violet skin has isolated her from the rest of the world. She dreams of finding acceptance and of her prince charming to save her from her sorrow. Nearby, a young blind man is also lonesome. One moment changes his destiny: meeting Varélia. It’s love at first sight. The maleficent Mr. Pourprier, obsessed by the color violet, thwarts their budding romance and kidnaps Valéria. Distraught by the disappearance of the princess, the young hero formulates a plan and assembles a crew of friends to rescue his beloved. At the end of the epic battle, the villain is defeated. True love conquers all. Delight in the acrobatic feats, the laser show and the unique set design of this futuristic medieval tale.

Creative Team

  • Line Producer — Nathalie Enault
  • Production Director — Anh-Dao Bui
  • Creative Director — David Pulin
  • Stage Director — Benjamin Dupont
  • Assistant Director — Edesia Moreno Barata
  • Acrobatic Performance — Edesia Moreno Barata
  • Costume Designer — Nicolas Vaudelet
  • Makeup Designer — Maryse Gosselin
  • Composer & Music Director — Félix-Antoine Couturier
  • Lighting Designer — Mathieu Poirier
  • Multimedia Designer — Jean-Sébastien Baillat
  • Sound Designer — Pierre-Luc Brunet
  • Choreographer — Edgar Zendejas
  • Technical Director - Theatre — Eric Bouchard
  • Technical Director - Production — Richard Piquet

Scenes / Acts

  • The Princess — Dance Trapeze
  • The Hero — Slack Wire
  • The Villain — Cube Manipulation & Contortion
  • The Rescue Plan — Diabolo
  • Hapily Ever After — Roller Skating & Duo Cerceau

Personages

The colors in VARÉLIA are more saturated, with higher contrasts, for a cartoonesque look. The white and purple hair, animals in Tartan clothes... we are in an altered reality! Urban looks, inspired by current fashion, are made with more technical materials and processes: double mesh, tissue spacer, molded silicone, 3D patterns and laser cutting to name just a few.

  • THE PRINCESS — Valéria is rejected because of her rare purple skin colour. This difference has shaped her strong personality. She has felt sad, isolated and bored for her whole life but an unexpected encounter will change the course of her lonely life. Varélia is the heroine of the story and her most striking feature is that her skin is purple. In order to achieve a realistic composition, the purple was highlighted with a light pink. It took three makeup trials to get the right shade of purple.

  • THE HERO — The young Hero is blind and has been struggling to find his place in the world. He’s caught in his own inner imagination. But his love for Varélia will reveal him to the world and change his destiny.

  • THE VILLAIN — The maleficent Mr Pourprier is an eccentric character who is obsessed by the colour violet and dreams of having a purple wife. Soon, he encounters the Princess and in a fit of madness, kidnaps her. But she soon will be rescued. The villain is a comedic antagonist. Despite the chaos he causes, his antics make him an audience favorite. So, we purposely exaggerated his eyebrows and used some pink around his eyes to emphasize the madness of the character.

  • THE RACCOON — He’s the Princess’ best friend, he is very friendly and protective.

  • THE JOGGERS — They come in the morning to do their jogging in the park, as usual. They are the amusing crowd, the archetype of the hip city dwellers with funny caps and reading glasses. They will help the story move forward.

  • THE WARRIOR FRIEND — With his agility and skills, the warrior friend will help the Hero come up with a rescue plan to deliver his beloved Princess. His act is the rehearsal of the rescue plan. It is a blend of martial arts and weaponry.

  • THE ANGELS — They’re the inhabitants of Cloud 9, the cherubim of Heaven. They are the representation of romanticism and celebrate Love. They perform for the new couple and everyone bathes in joyfulness.

Sceneography

 


The scenography is based on an intangible and virtual universe. From the very beginning, the idea was to play with laser lights to create a changing and futuristic-like set design. The lasers are used to create geometric-shaped architecture and set elements, as well as a storytelling device; helping the story progress (the Hero’s teepee, the Villain’s cage). The show title could have been ‘some time’ as it mixes eras using chivalry novel codes with modern and contemporary elements. A medieval tale with a futuristic twist. The inspirations lie in the cartoon world using a simple story arc but offering a multi-layered interpretation with a humoristic touch. In VARÉLIA, like in comic books, the physical differences become strengths. Loneliness is a common emotional state, shared by the Princess and the Hero. They recognise themselves as the same, yet different. This is a story of love, a love that is threatened when a Villain kidnaps the Princess. The Hero and his friends manage to deliver her while defeating the evil one. A happy ending then seals this classic yet modern storyline.

  • MUSIC — The original music concept for VARÉLIA relies on two artistic statements: first, use classical music in conjunction with electronic beats to counteract the cold aspect of the lasers and second, personify the main characters with specific instruments (the piano for the Princess, strings for the Hero, brass for the Villain, etc). The show experience is very well-balanced with the techno-like visual effects and the timeless classical music.

  • SPECIAL EFFECTS — Lasers: Laser lights create an intangible, futuristic and changing set design. They convey the theme and atmosphere of the show. With a strong focus on aesthetic principles and the safety of both the artists and the audience, the set of lasers create graphic figures and illusions where Cirque du Soleil at Sea artists can thrive. The creative team worked hand-in-hand with the technical team to make this possible, as it is quite a technical challenge, and ensured a rigorous testing process.

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Cirque Corner