OVO: Behind The Scene

We were delighted when we received an invitation to come to the Big Top and talk to
Olivier Fillion Boutin who is the OVO Publicist.


OZIP: Tell us about OVO. Who created the show and how?
OLIVIER: Since the beginning of Cirque du Soleil in 1984, we have created 32 different shows and all the shows have different themes, so we did a show about water, a show about The Beatles, a Japanese Legend, a traditional circus, we also have an erotic show. So we have different types of shows and productions.

Deborah Colker who is the first woman to ever create a show for Cirque du Soleil was asked to create a show about insects. She is Brazilian and has a dance background, so the Amazon, the forest in South America are some things that inspire her and it was a good theme for her.

When you look at the insects in their natural habitat, it’s basically like a big dance and that’s how OVO is. It is a big dance show with lots of acrobatics. OVO is also the only show with no human characters. They are all insects. So it is a very different show comparing to the others.


OZIP: How long did it take to create the show?
OLIVIER: When we create a show like OVO, it takes two to three years. In the first year, they will think about the concept. The concept of OVO came in probably 2006-2007. Then they will start hiring the different creators: the choreographer, the lighting designer, the composer and others. So they all come together and create that show. The artists are going to be hired towards the end, in 9 months to a year before the first show. In the case of OVO, they were there in Summer 2008 until the opening in April of 2009.

OZIP: How did they choose the performers?
OLIVIER: Some of the performers were involved in another Cirque du Soleil shows. Then
we have this team that will travel around the world to basically find the best artists
and athletes possible. So as an example, some of the trampolinists were at the Athens
Olympic. We try to find the best in each discipline.

OZIP: How long does it take for the performers to rehearse?
OLIVIER: Because we have Mondays off, so usually Tuesday is the big day for training. Everybody will come on stage and train for their act. They have 45 minutes to an hour or an hour and a half to rehearse and the rest of the week is just optional training session and Friday to Sunday there is no training because we have two shows so they need a little bit of rest.


OZIP: Has a mistake ever happened?
OLIVIER: Well, sometimes little funny things happen, like The Spanish Web Duo will drop the rope and start running after it. You can have the power track not opening; problem with the music; there is always something that can go wrong but nothing major really. They are funny things that people will or will not notice, but we do because we watch the show everyday.

Doing a show like this, you can never be bored. Because it is such a high-risk activity, it takes a lot of concentration and if you are distracted then a fatal mistake might happen.


OZIP: What is the best thing of joining the team of Cirque du Soleil?
OLIVIER: Well probably ‘travelling around the world’. It is an incredible job to spread joy in all the cities that we’re visiting. We try to make sure they can escape their world for two and a half hours. That is the mission we have and that is what we are trying to deliver everyday.

OZIP: What differs Cirque du Soleil from any other circus companies?
OLIVIER: We have no animals in our productions, so it is a big difference. For most of the circus, they will usually have animals, we don’t. We try to bring excellence in sport and arts together with music, so it is probably what makes Cirque du Soleil so different. It is a very unique universe and that is what we are trying to keep.

OZIP: Is there any plan to perform in Indonesia?
OLIVIER: Maybe, but no plan yet. We are going to finish the tour in Australia and I don’t
know where are we going to go next. We will be touring in Asia at some point, so there is
always a possibility.


OZIP: If a creature is to be hatched out of the egg, what will that be?
OLIVIER: Oooohh… it is a mystery. I cannot tell you. The egg is probably the biggest paradox of the show. On the one hand, it is the most important thing in the show because the lives of the insects revolve around it; on the other hand, it is also the most unimportant thing in the show because… it just doesn’t do a thing.

OZIP: If you can add an animal into the show, what will that be?
OLIVIER: I don’t know… A giant real ladybug? Since it is a show about insect, so it has to be an insect!

OZIP: Which artist would you like to see playing The Ladybug?
OLIVIER: Wow. That’s a good question. I would love to see Queen Latifah as The Ladybug. I am sure she would be hilarious!

Text Dina Budiarto
Photo OSA Images, Ineke Iswardojo