The creative team
ARTISTIC DIRECTION - Normand Latourelle
In 40 years of career in the performing arts, Normand Latourelle has followed a path that led him to explore all aspects of the industry, from lighting designer to agent, as well as production manager, director and artistic director. A pioneer of Cirque du Soleil from 1985 to 1990, he has been the driving force behind many impressive and memorable events, such as the sound and light show on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the spectacular Légendes Fantastiques in Drummondville and the 350th anniversary celebrations for the founding of Montreal. A visionary in constant quest for innovation, Normand Latourelle is renowned for combining different forms of artistic expression and reinventing the scenic space, with the ultimate goal of taking audiences into new dimensions. Since 2003, Normand Latourelle is fully dedicated to Cavalia, instilling his talent, passion and imagination into the productions. In 2007, he received the Ordre national du Québec for his achievements.
DIRECTION - Wayne Fowkes
Born in Leeds, Great Britain, Wayne Fowkes now lives in Austria with his family. He began his career as a singer and dancer in London’s West End, where he acted in several big shows. His career path led him to explore choreography and artistic direction, among other things, for television productions in Great Britain and Europe. At age 30, he became resident director for Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 2000, Wayne took on a huge London venue, the Millenium Dome, as artistic coordinator. The same year he became the artistic director for Notre-Dame-de-Paris, also overseeing its subsequent adaptations in eight different languages. Shortly after, in 2004, Fowkes became artistic director for the musical Don Juan. In 2007 he directed his very first production, Butterflies, presented in Beijing. For Wayne, working with horses in a creative environment is a totally new adventure and an eye-opening experience.
MUSIC - Michel Cusson
Michel Cusson’s work, both in the mythical band UZEB and on the big screen and television (25 films and 19 TV series), has been recognized by 14 Félix, 6 Gémeaux, 7 SOCAN awards, 1 Jutra and 1 Gemini. His musical contributions also include the score for the original soundtracks of major stage productions such as Kaleido and Era-Intersection of Time (Shangai), Ulalena (Hawaii) as well as Cavalia (World tour). He has created an emotional musical score for horses, artists and spectators alike.
CHOREOGRAPHY- Alain Gauthier
Montreal-born acrobat and choreographer Alain Gauthier, has created an avalanche of aerial stunts and dazzling special effects. The 1984 North American trampoline champion collaborated on many impressive Canadian and international productions such as Cirque du Soleil, Paramount and Superbowl XXXI. Gauthier’s innovative talent and solid experience, both onstage and behind the scenes, was put to profit during the creation of Cavalia. His presence and leadership on tour is a constant source of inspiration to the artists.
LIGHTING DESIGN - Alain Lortie
For over 30 years, Alain Lortie has been living his passion through his work and his reputation is well established in Quebec, as well as in France and Asia. First associated to multidisciplinary artists such as Michel Lemieux, Marie Chouinard and Édouard Lock, he lit Notre-Dame de Paris, Starmania, Cavalia and a few Cirque du Soleil shows. Alain has also actively participated in the Festival Montréal en Lumières. Many times "lighting designer of the year" at l’ADISQ, he has also been awarded the Masque des Éclairages and a Dora Mavor Moore Award in Toronto.
SET DESIGN - Guillaume Lord
The versatile stage designer Guillaume Lord works in theatre, circus, dance, variety shows, rock concerts and musicals in Canada and abroad. Over the past 15 years, he has worked with Serge Denoncourt (Hosanna), Marie Chouinard (Le nombre d'Or), Jean Grand-Maître (Ballets de l’Opéra de Paris) and Gilles Maheu for whom he designed the scenography of Zaia (Cirque du Soleil). He also designed the sets for Nomade and Rain (Cirque Éloize). With Odysseo, he takes up the challenge of creating the set-design for a much quicker and more physical star performer.
EQUESTRIAN DIRECTION AND CHOREOGRAPHY - Benjamin Aillaud
Born in Toulouse, France, Benjamin Aillaud has been constantly evolving in the equestrian world since childhood. At the age of 6 he bought his first horse and began jumping, vaulting, Western riding, dressage and carriage riding for pleasure. From this moment on, his objectives and philosophy began to take shape: training versatile horses that will enjoy and maintain their interest in performing. At the age of 33, his career is already impressive. Twice vice-champion of the world and four-time champion of France in four-horse carriage, he has also directed equestrian shows. Since 2009 he has acted as equestrian director for Cavalia’s two productions.
COSTUMES - Manon Desmarais
A career that spans more than 3 decades, Manon got her start as the prop master for different theatres, including the world renowned Opéra de Montréal. It has been more than 15 years since she started creating costumes for circus performers and shows. She played an integral role in launching Les 7 doigts de la main and still serves as the costume creator. Cavalia marks yet another milestone in her distinguished career.
HAIR DESIGNER - Louis Bond
A hair stylist and designer with many years' experience, his great reputation and artistic ability have earned him seven nominations to the Gala des prix Gémeaux, including winning the prize for "Best makeup and hair design", 2 years in a row. He is pursuing his career in theatre, on television sets, in the movies and recently in the american production "Miroir miroir". To add to his long list of accomplishments is his creative involvment with American magazines "Vanity Dades" and "CACRS Puerto Rico", as well as "Notre-Dame de Paris" and "Mil feuilles" with the group Les éternels pigistes. Louis Bond joined the Cavalia team in 2006.
VISUAL CONCEPT - Geodezik
The visual world created for Odysseo was conceived by Geodezik, a multimedia company specializing in video content production and system design for stage shows, public events and permanent installations. The Montreal-based company also acts as a consultant for various stage and architectural designs. Geodezik offers a comprehensive vision in multimedia, from project design to final spectacle, by creating original content and new technology with the help of a community of visual artists and stage and new media professionals. Numerous artists have relied on Geodezik’s expertise for their stage and video concepts, including Justin Timberlake, Cher, Bette Midler, Cirque du Soleil, Tina Turner, Taylor Swift, Usher, Katy Perry and Grubb. The visual world designed for Odysseo is meant to discreetly serve as an alternative echo for the scenic environment, all the while complimenting the lighting effects, scenography and staged numbers of the show.
DIRECTOR AND VISUAL CONCEPTOR - Érick Villeneuve
The show’s "atmosphere" is a reflection of his poetic vision. Visual designer, Erick Villeneuve did not only collect some of the superb illustrations which are projected on the long 200 feet screen (with all technological challenges it represents), he signed some of the most inspiring among them. The list of artists, shows and productions he’s collaborated with and on over the years include diva Diane Dufresne, the Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto symphonic orchestras, the popular Montreal International Jazz Festival and the jubilee ceremonies in Ottawa and Toronto for Queen Elizabeth II. Villeneuve, 40, has brought innovation and ingenuity to Cavalia at a level that has never been seen before in a horse show. He’s earned the trust of Normand Latourelle, whom he’s worked with for several years and enjoys calling a creative accomplice.
SCENIC DESIGNER - Marc Labelle
Multi-disciplinary scenic artist Marc Labelle, 46, has 15 years experience designing stage mechanisms and has travelled the globe, creating and setting up platforms for Cirque du Soleil, Céline Dion and Robert Lepage.