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An interesting project from Cirque

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by gafftaper, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    One of our CB members works for Cirque in Vegas. Because of agreements with his employer, he needs to remain anonymous. He received the following story on internal e-mail, found it interesting and sent it to me, to share with you. If you have any questions I'm sure he will be following this thread, and I'll be happy to relay his answers.
    -Gaff


    "When is a box more than just a box? A visit with UNLV Entertainment Engineering and Design Program students

    They come in many shapes and sizes, but a box is just a box. Of course, its contents are often more important than its form—especially when it holds items of great importance or value. The contents of some boxes are very obvious—big red ones carry tools; little blue ones carry all the hope of lifelong promises. Others, nondescript, reveal unsuspected surprises. But few boxes are as great as those that come from the imagination and ingenuity of youth who think, well, outside the box.

    Such was the case for the freshman Fabrication class of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Entertainment Engineering and Design Program who presented faculty members and Cirque guests Kim Scott (Technical and Show Support) and Charles Béraud (Global Citizenship) with the fruits of their most recent labor. The exercise was simple: custom-build two identical boxes for a specific set of tools, using sheet metal as the primary material.

    The results—a mixture of ingenious designs made all the more complicated by the unpredictable nature of curving sheet metal—ranged from functional to the absolute whimsy, including one shaped like a robot with the goggle storage as eyes and encased IPod speakers as ears, and another in the shape of a baby grand.

    “The thing about all this,” said RSD Training Manager Kim Scott, “is that it’s not about the box. These are the people that we will be recruiting in the years to come to meet the great technical needs for our shows. This kind of exercise has so many benefits in teaching them not only to work with these materials, but also to work with precision, inventiveness; to create an item that can be easily and efficiently reproduced. It’s great to see that all these students really went out there and thought outside the box. There are some great ideas here that I could see, with very minor changes, being applied to the shows. That’s what’s great about this program: it takes the theory, puts it into practice and develops real skills that will be useful in the real work world.”

    Cirque du Soleil supports the UNLV Entertainment Engineering and Design Program, as its curriculum is in line with the very specific technical needs of artistic companies in Las Vegas, including Cirque’s. “We have a way of doing certain things at Cirque,” Kim added, “and it’s wonderful to be able to work with a school and influence the curriculum of a program to meet that reality. We have a great relationship with UNLV, a relationship that Cirque is very proud of and that we look forward to cultivating for many years to come.”
     
  2. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    As a graduate of this University (and someone that curriculm was tested on during my tenure there) I can't help but express pride at what Joe Alderidge and the rest of the new EE program are doing there at UNLV.

    Now I have to call and yell at Joe and get him to send me pictures.
     
  3. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Very cool. I like the idea that it's not about the box at all, really, but the process that goes into designing and making the box. As a guy who sometimes tries to teach and train people to do stuff, at any given time I care more that the student gets it, that something has clicked, than about what the student is doing at the moment, if that makes any sense.

    Cool.
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Our anonymous CB member from Cirque just sent me this message...
    "I guess you could say 'those who learn in Vegas work in Vegas' or something like that. I don't know how good the program at UNLV is, but I do know that they are definitely getting help from the community to make it good."

    Combined with what Grog just said, it sounds like UNLV is a very interesting option for anyone interested in working on a big production show.
     

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