Debra Brown

Debra Brown has been the principal choreographer for Cirque du Soleil since 1987.

Her credits include QUIDAM, ALEGRIA, SALTIMBANCO, NOUVELLE EXPÉRIENCE CIRQUE RÉINVENTÉ, and the permanent shows “0” and MYSTÈRE in Las Vegas and LA NOUBA in Orlando.

In 1999, QUIDAM’s “Banquine” act, for which she did the choreography, won the prestigious Golden Clown at the 23rd World Circus Festival in Monte Carlo. In 1997 Ms. Brown won the prestigious Bob Fosse Innovative Choreography Award for her ongoing work with the Cirque du Soleil. In 1990, for her work with the Cirque’s Four Contortionists, Ms. Brown won the first ever Soviet Press Award for Most Outstanding Choreographer at the World Circus Festival in Paris. The dancers of MYSTÈRE were presented with the “1997 Best of Las Vegas” award by Las Vegas Entertainment Magazine.

Ms. Brown has served as choreographer for two world premiere operas, THE GOLDEN ASS for Canadian Opera Company in 1999, and THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES in 1991 at the Metropolitan Opera, and again in 1995 at the Chicago Lyric Opera. Also for Chicago Lyric, she has choreographed Wagner’s DIE VALKYRIE and DAS RHEINGOLD. Her bungie Rhinemaiden scene in Das Rheingold has inspired a whole new choreographic lexicon in international opera.

Other operas include DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995 with Pavarotti; ARIADNE AUF NAXOS at the St. Louis Opera; L’HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT for Théatre de L’Unité and Ars Nova in Paris, and R. Murray Shafer’s EPITAPH FOR MOON- LIGHT with the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

For the Opening of GM Place in Vancouver she choreographed and directed a stunning 26-person aerial ballet to the finale of Turandot. International Special Events Magazine awarded this show both “Most Outstanding Spectacle” and “Best Theatrical Production”. And at Opryland Ms. Brown created an aerial extravaganza that rose on the wings of a gospel choir and danced in the midst of a dazzling pyrotechnics display. Other highlights include the 1985 OPENING CEREMONIES for the first ever WORLD FREESTYLE SKIING CHAMPIONSHIPS in Tignes, France; the 1990 GEMINI AWARDS in Toronto; The COLOUR OF MY LOVE television special and tour with CELINE DION in 1994; and SATIE AND SUZANNE, an awardwinning multi-disciplinary film for Rhombus Media in Toronto. This film was nominated for a 1997 GRAMMY AWARD in the category of Best Music Video, Long Form. Other films include BARNEY’S GREAT ADVENTURE and Cirque du Soleil’s JOURNEY OF MAN.

Over the years Ms. Brown has continued to define and expand the boundaries of her art, creating and producing APOGÉE, a fifty-minute trampoline-based ballet which premiered in Toronto in 1994. An excerpt of APOGÉE was presented in both Los Angeles and San Francisco at “Passport ‘96”, an AIDS Benefit hosted by Elizabeth Taylor and Magic Johnson. The Apogée Troupe performed at the 1997 NFL Superbowl Party with George Clinton and The P-Funk Band in New Orleans, and has appeared at many prestigious galas throughout North America and Europe.

A winner of eight national choreographic awards in gymnastics, she has choreographed for individuals and teams across North America, including 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist in Rhythmic Gymnastics Lori Fung and, most recently, with the 2000 Canadian Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team.

In 2000-2001, Ms. Brown choreographed Aerosmith’s new video JADED as well as their performance at the American Music Awards. She directed / choreographed Creative Overdose of Kinetic Energy (C.O.K.E.), a multi-disciplinary dance cabaret, the gala per- formance held in honour of the eighteen heads of state attending the APEC Conference and is directing The Summit of the Americas spectacular this April.

Most recently, Debra won the OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY EMMY for CIRQUE DU SOLEIL performance at THE 74TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS. She also created and guided Madonna’s aerial feats for her Drowned World Tour (for which she was also nominated for Outstanding Choreography at the 54th Annual Emmy Awards) and col- laborated on Bjork’s “Cocoon” music video, that continues to be highly rotated on TV airwaves.

Debra now spends her time shuttling between Europe and North America alternating between film and theatrical projects. She has most recently choreographed for the blockbuster films Van Helsing starring Hugh Jackman and Catwoman featuring Halle Berry.

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