December 4, 2022

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Franco Dragon, former director of Cirque du Soleil, dies of a heart attack

Franco Dragon, former director of Cirque du Soleil, dies of a heart attack

Director Franco Dragone, in the ’90s, the tough guy behind the great performances of Cirque du Soleil, died in Cairo of a heart attack. Was there for a theatrical production. The Belgian-Italian Dragon has turned 69 years old.

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Belgian-Italian director Franco Dragone died of a heart attack in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Claudine Cornet, one of his employees, reported this.

Dragon was in Egypt for professional reasons after winning the City Opera last week decrusher no color On the streets of his hometown of La Louvière, a scene with 850 actors and extras. “It is a real disaster for our city,” the mayor of La Louviere, Jacques Joubert, responds to the death.

Walloon Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo described Dragon as “a great director and producer of amazing shows”. Charleroi Mayor Paul Magnet praised him as “a very charismatic and talented man who made Wallonia shine in the world, but at the same time remained fiercely loyal to his Italian roots and Louvier”.

AFP photo

Born in southern Italy, Dragone moved to La Louvière at the age of seven, where his parents went to work in the mines. He already had artistic ambitions at the time, and his father gave him the freedom to pursue them.

Follow Dragon of Love to Canada and take his first steps at a circus in Montreal. There he was noticed in 1984 by Guy Laliberte, who founded Cirque du Soleil that year. A year later, Dragone was asked to join the circus company.

Stage show

Theatrical performance “Saltembanko” in Ostend.Peter Meinhaud’s photo

From 1985 to 1998, Dragone was a mainstay at the Cirque du Soleil. Take out some of the leading shows like SaltimbankoAnd the Allegria And the quidamShows that roamed the world. According to CNN, Dragone was “one of the main architects of the unique Cirque du Soleil theatrical style.”

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null image of Filip Claus

Philip Claus’s photo

In 2000, Dragon left the company to start his own entertainment group. That year he signed for the Euro 2000 opening ceremony in Brussels and gave great performances, including with Celine Dion in Las Vegas. He also had productions in Dubai and Macau.

With Celine Dion at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  BELGA's photo

With Celine Dion at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.BELGA’s photo

Ten years ago, Dragon was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Antwerp for his innovative blend of theater and circus performances, which set a glee for the international theater world.

But that same year, his company lost credibility when the Mons prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into tax fraud, money laundering and corruption. His name was later mentioned in the Panama Papers. Dragon has consistently denied these allegations and promised to provide greater transparency. In April 2020, the attorney general asked Dragon to refer to the Assize Court.

Two years ago, Dragon was diagnosed with leukemia, but recently expressed hope that he will soon be cured. Today he died of a heart attack.

Franco Dragon.  BELGA's photo

Franco Dragon.BELGA’s photo