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Cirque du Soleil:
Innovation & Collaboration at the Heart of Costume Creation

Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series

Lecture Date(s)

October 9, 2018 at 12:45pm
October 11, 2018 at 6pm

Speaker(s)

Denise Tétreault, Director – Director of Development & Innovation at Cirque du Soleil and Mark DeCoste, Assistant Costume Designer at Cirque du Soleil

Moderator(s)

Isabelle St-Louis, Manager of Exhibitions and Lectures

Language

English, with simultaneous translation in Arabic at Qatar
National Library

Location

The Atrium at VCUarts Qatar The Qatar National Library

Acknowledgment

Andrée Jolicoeur, Catherine Lagacé, Élise Provost and Josée Rainville
CDS_Groupe_AN_4C_DarkBack
Image caption: Hummingbird from LUZIA, Picture credit: Matt Beard, Costume credit: Giovanna Buzzi, 216 ©Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil is known throughout the world for its spectacular shows which feature gravity defying acrobatics, stunning set designs and outstanding costumes that combine technology, artistry and science.

Two members of the Costumes Workshops Innovation and Creation team will be visiting VCUarts Qatar and Qatar National Library in Education City as part of VCUarts Qatar’s Crossing Boundaries lectures series.

Denise Tétreault, the Director of Development & Innovation, and Mark DeCoste, the Assistant Costume Designer, will give the audiences at the lectures a behind the scenes look at the highly-regarded costume workshop that produces the thousands of intricately designed and highly advanced costumes that are key to its success. Each year the workshop’s approximately 300 full-time employees use over 65 kilometers of fabric from around the world to produce more than 14,000 costume pieces. The team is constantly on the lookout for new ways to give eye-catching textures to costumes; or to design special effects for performances.

Cirque du Soleil

Emerging from its humble beginnings in Quebec in 1984 as a group of 20 street performers, Cirque du Soleil has reinvented circus arts and grown to become a world-renowned leader in live entertainment, enthralling more than 180 million spectators from 450 cities in 60 countries from across six continents. Cirque du Soleil’s spectacular mix of artistry, theatrics and designs combine the skills of 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries together with a combined staff of 4,000 to produce content for a broad range of audacious projects.
Source: Cirque du Soleil website (logo below)

Biographies

Crossing Boundaries Lecture by Cirque du Soleil at VCUarts Qatar

@cirquedusoleil
cirquedusoleil.com

The daughter of a seamstress and a weaver, and the great-granddaughter of a pattern maker, Denise has always been fascinated by textiles. After graduating in dressmaking from a specialized school in Montréal, she started her career in 1980 by exploring the many venues of the business. She then taught sewing, worked in the fashion industry, and worked on theatrical productions and in cinema until she founded her own childrenswear company.

Denise Tétreault joined Cirque du Soleil in 1991. She collaborated with costume designer Dominique Lemieux on multiple shows, including Fascination, Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Mystère, Alegria, Quidam, “O” et La Nouba. She began as a seamstress and later worked as a buyer.

The growing success of Cirque du Soleil led to Denise being mandated to create a supply department for its costume workshop, where she worked as an assistant to designers such as François Barbeau (Dralion) and Eiko Ishioka (Varekai). This in turn led to the establishment of a research and development department that catered to the costume workshop’s increasing demands for new materials and techniques as Cirque du Soleil’s shows became ever
more spectacular.

From 2006 to today, she worked as the director of the creative department for the costume department which produced up to three new shows a year. It now has more than
350 employees.

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@cirquedusoleil
cirquedusoleil.com

A graduate of Dalhousie University theatre department’s Costume Studies program in 1990, Mark attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design where he studied art history and drawing before arriving in Montreal to pursue a career in costumes.

Mark DeCoste has more than 25 years experience in costume design. Besides working with the creative team at Cirque du Soleil, he has also worked among the most renowned theater and dance companies in Canada, Ex Machina, the Met Opera, Citadel Theatre, Franco Dragone Productions and the Vienna State Opera. At Cirque du Soleil he supervises the entire process of costume design at the creative department, from conception and design to creation
and completion.

As seamster, cutter, instructor, coordinator or assistant, his team player qualities and generosity in sharing his knowledge is well recognized in the costume community. Mark has worked with many talented costume designers and acquired an extensive knowledge of historical as well as contemporary costuming.

Public Programming

October 8, 2018 ― 9:30 to 12 PM

Studio visits by Denise Tétreault and Mark DeCoste with the Fashion Design students (juniors)

October 9, 2018 ― 9:30 to 11 AM

Class talk about costume design by Denise Tétreault and Mark DeCoste with the Fashion Design students

October 9, 2018 ― 12:45 to 2 PM

Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series:
'Cirque du Soleil: Innovation & Collaboration at the Heart of Costume Creation' at the Atrium at VCUarts Qatar

October 9, 2018 ― 7 to 9 PM

Exclusive dinner with Denise Tétreault and Mark DeCoste offered to students, alumni, staff and faculty at VCUarts Qatar (RSVP - limited seats)

October 11, 2018 ― 6 to 7 PM

Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series:
'Cirque du Soleil: Innovation & Collaboration at the Heart of Costume Creation' at the Qatar National Library

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