The creative team
ARTISTIC DIRECTION - Normand Latourelle
In his 40-year career in the performing arts, Normand Latourelle has followed a path that has led him through all aspects of the industry, having occupied every position from lighting designer to agent, 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 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 to new dimensions. Since 2003, Normand Latourelle has been 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Through his associations with 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. Lortie has won numerous industry awards, including a Dora Mavor Moore Award in Toronto.
COSTUME DESIGN - Georges Lévesque (1951-2011) and Michèle Hamel
The non-conformist artist and designer Georges Lévesque began his career in the early 1970s and always pursued his uncompromising quest for beauty. In addition to his line of clothing, his career also included designing stage costumes for Diane Dufresne and many other renowned artists. He has created the costumes for more than 30 productions in various artistic fields, including most recently Don Juan and Scheherazade. Georges Lévesque was recognized for his creative independence, his originality and his loyalty to the great tradition of « couture ». As for Michèle Hamel, she began her career as a costume designer in 1977, after meeting film director Gilles Carles. Since then, Michèle Hamel has been credited in over 50 Canadian film and TV productions, and her talent has been widely recognized with numerous awards. Together, these uniquely talented and experienced designers have left their mark on the artistic scene in Quebec and across Canada.
MUSIC - Michel Cusson
Michel Cusson’s work, both in jazz fusion composition and on the big and small screens (25 films and 19 TV series), has been recognized by some 30 awards in the Canadian arts. His musical contributions also include the score for the original soundtracks of major stage productions such as Kaleido and Era-Intersection of Time (Shanghai), Ulalena (Hawaii) as well as Cavalia (World tour). With Odysseo, Michel Cusson is teaming up for the fourth time with Normand Latourelle. He has once again created an emotional musical score for horses, artists and spectators alike.
CHOREOGRAPHY - Darren Charles & Alain Gauthier
They each bring their talent and vision to this new production. Darren Charles draws from his vast experience in ballet, contemporary dance, ethnic movement and acrobatics, and incorporates an imaginative fusion of styles into his choreographies. Alain Gauthier collaborated on the first Cavalia show and numerous other large-scale productions. His expertise in acrobatic and aerial stunts proves invaluable.
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.
MAKEUP DESIGNER - Jessica Manzo
Starting her career onstage as a classical dancer, she changed her direction to discover the backstage world and become a professional makeup artist. Jessica Manzo has been perfecting her craft for over 20 years in multiple fields such as cinema, television, photography, theatre and circus performance. During this period she has also taught and trained over a dozen makeup artists and co-founded the makeup Salon "Divine & Sybèle". Having worked front- and back-stage, side by side with directors, actors and artists, both locally and internationally, she knew to draw from her experiences, tap into Normand Latourelle's inspiring vision and create the makeup designs for Odysseo.