Varekai x Mac



I saw Varekai on Premier Night a few weeks ago. I got invited by Hoopla, through ABSCBN anchor Ces Drilon. It was an incredible show. I was seated with old friends and colleagues – Ces, Julius and Tintin Babao, Karen Davila. I brought my mom with me.


The Grand Chapiteau at Quirino Grandstand. During Premier Night, it was raining.


Mom and I at Tapis Rouge on Premier Night. Tickets to Tapis Rouge are P10,500 each! But there are different ticket categories, please check out the link.


Just like in all Cirque du Soleil productions, you will sit at the edge of your seat. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser. In addition to the stunts and beautiful acrobatics that Cirque is known for, Varekai also has some comic parts. I knew my kids would enjoy this and after seeing it on premier night, I kept wishing for another chance to bring my daughters.

I first watched Cirque du Soleil in the late 80’s in Canada. They were just on the verge of becoming a world famous production then. I never forgot the experience. It was magical. It stayed with me forever. And Varekai did not disappoint. I knew my kids would love it.

Lucky is an understatement. I got another invitation for Varekai – this time from MAC. They offered me two Tapis Rouge tickets (again!). My husband isn’t really into these types of shows. He obviously doesn’t know what he’s missing. I should have shown him this video preview. So I ended up bringing Sophia to the show last night.


Sophia at the Tapis Rouge during intermission. She wore the dress from Rajito. (And yes, I purposely took her photo this way, with shadows.) She loved every minute of it. Even though it was way past her bedtime on a school night, she didn’t doze off.


Didn’t I just say that Anne of Green Gables was one of the best Canadian exports and legacies? Well here are two more — Cirque du Soleil and MAC makeup.
MAC sent me this interview of Cirque du Soleil’s makeup designer, Nathalie Gagne:

Makeup Designer Nathalie Gagné has been fascinated by makeup and its influence on the actor’s craft since her teens. She studied theatre production at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, a community college in Quebec, then went on to become one of the first graduates of the Montreal subsidiary of the famed Paris- based makeup school École Christian Chauveau.

Since Cirque performers have to apply their own makeup, Nathalie Gagné involves them in the actual creation of their onstage look. “Unlike actors, acrobats aren’t used to studying their own faces,” she says. “One of my goals is to get them to do just that, and help them find within themselves what I call ‘lines of force’ that will serve to build their characters.”

Which MAC cosmetics products are used the most in the show?
‘Definitely, the black track gel eyeliner, it is a must. Also, the pigment colour powder mixed with a medium water base. The Creamstick also.’

Which of these products can readers purchase, and how can they use them for a more modified look?
‘Most of the products we use in Varekai are from Mac Pro. The shows Zumanity, Corteo and LOVE have more a fashion look.’

What is the best thing about the collaboration between MAC and Cirque de Soleil?
MAC is willing to develop new and special products for our specific needs. MAC has also a very impressive selection of colors and a wide variety of products! We share many good ideas together more and more. They are as crazy as we are at Cirque du Soleil. Both our companies are similar in many ways.’


‘To create my looks, I work closely with the Costume Designer and Stage Director. My first inspiration will come from the costumes sketches. I will then do a research through magazines, books or any other visual stimulation element and will present the result of my research to the stage director. I will also spend some time watching the artists doing workshops during rehearsals. The way they move, their facial expressions and the character they are developing will give me very good insight on how to design their make up.” –Nathalie Gagne


‘The artists learned to put on their makeup with a «step by step» guide which means outlining on paper every step of the make up, accompanied by photos of the artist illustrating the application of the make up itself. This «step by step» will then become the reference tool for the artist to reproduce his make up himself. After the first encounter, the artist will have a minimum of 3 appointments with one of my wonderful assistants who, with great patience and generosity, will teach the artist some tricks of the trade that will help him do his own makeup.
I visit the majority of our shows twice a year to ensure that the artists do their make up according to the original concept and to work with them or help them if necessary.” — Nathalie Gagne


‘It is always very important to work with the artists, but, at Cirque du Soleil, since 70% of the artists are primarily acrobats or former athletes and do not have that much stage experience, I will teach them how to apply makeup rather than create my looks with them. They have to learn the basics and learn that they have face muscles that they play with those to make facial expressions that will give life to the make up.” — Nathalie Gagne.


For tickets to Varekai, please go to Hoopla.


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