Outrageous costumes have been a defining feature of Cirque du Soleil ever since its first show was staged back in 1984. Indian audiences will get to see just how inventive they are with tailoring and prop-making with ‘BAZZAR’, the group’s latest acrobatic spectacle, which will premiere in Mumbai and Delhi, November onwards.
Here are some fun facts about Cirque du Soleil’s costume department.
1. The costume workshop at Cirque du Soleil’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada employs approximately 300 full-time textile designers, lace, wig and costume makers, shoemakers and milliners.
2. Nearly 4,500 costumes can be found on all show locations every night.
3. The department produced some 16,000 pieces of custom-made costumes in 2017 alone. Close to 30 kilometres of fabric was used last year, 92 per cent of which was treated and dyed in-house.
4. Cirque du Soleil is constantly on the lookout for new material. For example, materials used in dentistry, plumbing, aviation and even water sports may be found in their costumes.
5. Moleskin is the type of Lycra most used at Cirque du Soleil. Other items used extensively include silicone, latex, plastics, leathers, foams and urethane.
6. Cirque du Soleil’s props team boasts a versatile skill set, from sculpting, welding, painting and moulding to sewing and sawing.
7. Cirque du Soleil’s wig-making artisans are masters at ‘ventilation’, an arduous wig-making technique that involves building the wig one hair at a time onto a base using a hook.
8. Hats are custom-designed and built for each performer with the help of portable scanners and 3D prints.
9. Approximately 1,200 pairs of shoes will be hand-made by the workshop this year. Artisans dye, trim and assemble the leather pieces on site, sometimes altering a brand new pair of sports or dance shoes to meet the specific needs of a costume.
10. To create the Accordion Man’s attire from Cirque du Soleil’s show ‘Kurios’, the costume-maker in charge spent an entire week sewing inside the costume.
Cirque du Soleil ‘BAZZAR’ opens in Mumbai and Delhi, November onwards.
Book your tickets to the show here.