Franco Dragone (CIRQUE DU SOLEIL) LectureOct. 19th 14:00   LIBRARY BUILDING 4TH FLOOR

The Artist Introduction:

Dragone was born in Cairano, Italy, and moved to La Louvière, Belgium at age seven. In the 1970s, he studied theatre at the Belgian Royal Conservatory of Mons. His earliest theatrical work was explicitly political, working as a director of theatre and film in the mode of the commedia dell'arte dramatist Dario Fo. The theatre works he helped create expressed social situations, interpreting true stories of the homeless, drug addicts and prison inmates, and casting the non-actors that shared their stories to perform in the shows. In the 1980s Dragone came to Montreal, Canada, where Guy Caron, director of the National Circus School, invited him to conduct workshops with the students and teachers at his school. Later, Dragone created, directed and produced a show for the end of the school year. Guy Laliberté saw one of these performances in 1984, the same year he formed Cirque du Soleil. In 1985, Laliberté sought out Guy Caron to join Cirque du Soleil. Caron, in turn, asked Dragone to join as a creator.


In 1999, Dragone directed the music video for Lara Fabian's song "Adagio".


In 2005, Dragone debuted his fourth production on the Las Vegas Strip with the opening of Le Rêve at the Wynn Las Vegas.


Dragone most recently directed a Macau-based show entitled The House of Dancing Water, which bills itself as the world’s largest permanent water-based show. 

On March 29, 2012 he was awarded the doctor honoris causa degree for general merits by the University of Antwerp, in recognition of his innovative and cosmopolitan approach of theatre.


Between January and March 2013, Dragone created and directed 'The Story of a Fort, Legacy of a Nation’ Show