There were large attendances at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) and Qatar National Library recently for talks by two of the key creatives from Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group’s famous costume workshop.
Denise Tétreault, who is the Director of Specialties, Development & Innovation at Cirque du Soleil’s costume workshop, and Mark DeCoste, who is an Assistant Costume Designer at Cirque du Soleil’s costume workshop, took the audiences behind the scenes of the highly-regarded workshop which produces thousands of intricately designed and highly advanced costumes.
They explained the fascinating background to the costume designs and processes and also took the time to answer many questions from the audiences at the talks. They also met with students from VCUarts Qatar’s fashion design program, showed them samples of the materials that they use, and gave them tips and advice on costume design.
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. A wide range of techniques are used from 3-D printing to laser cutting, and both speakers emphasised the collaborative processes that go into each costume. The team is constantly on the lookout for new ways to give eye-catching textures to costumes; or to design special effects for performances.
“It was a great pleasure for me to convey to Doha the essence of what distinguishes Cirque du Soleil globally. The starting point for every project at Cirque du Soleil is in fact an emotion. Our challenge is to use the newest technologies and techniques to convey this pure and organic emotion on stage.” said Denise Tétreault.
Mark DeCoste, added: “I am honored for having the opportunity of sharing my knowledge and experience with the people of Qatar and to be able to take them through the process of costume design at the exceptional Cirque du Soleil. The lectures were inspirational for the team as well, thanks to the high level of engagement received from the audience and the admiration they have expressed towards our work”.
The talks, which are part of the Crossing Boundaries Lecture series, took place at VCUarts Qatar at lunchtime on October 9, and at Qatar National Library on October 11 at 6pm. Both talks were free and open to the public and had full houses on both occasions.
Last year, the Crossing Boundaries Lecture series welcomed Ayse and EceEge from luxury fashion brand Dice Kayek and internationally renowned industrial designer Giulio Iacchetti.