Cirque's Saltimbanco readies for final curtain call
Published Wednesday, December 19, 2012 5:38PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 19, 2012 7:30PM EST
It wasn't Cirque du Soleil's first show, but perhaps the show that made them famous.
Saltimbanco, which has been touring the world for 20 years, is now home for good and set to be retired after the holidays.
Described by Cirque du Soleil as a celebration of life,Saltimbanco is such a colourful calling card it opened new markets for the circus troupe. It toured from 1992 to 2006 under their big top called the Grand Chapiteau, readapting for arena shows in 2007.
After seeing a performance at the age of ten, Kieran Bourke loved it enough want to be part of it.
Bourke first saw Saltimbanco in Australia, and within the decade was working as an acrobat with Cirque du Soleil, and back Down Under performing in front of his family.
“That was great to perform at home and to be in the show and the one that created the ambition for what I wanted to do,” he said.
From Nova Scotia, Alexa Jollimore said she wasn't so sure what she wanted to do when she grew up, but ended up in the famous troupe.
“I did 16 years in gymnastics and every moment prepared me for this, whether I knew it or not!” she said
From Los Angeles, Rebecca McCabe didn't know her skills as a cobble could take her around the world.
She maintains 150 pairs of shoes a day.
“They not only get torn up from the abrasion on the poles but the sole gets broken and splits -- because I save a lot of soles every day,” she said.
The cast and crew of Saltimbanco is as international as their other tours, explains artistic director Neelanthi Vadival, from Sri Lanka.
“The show’s culture is about diversity and the big themes everybody understands and appreciates. It's more about the imagery and the emotions that are involved,” said Vadival.
Emotions in the cast and crew are mixed as they return to Montreal, because the 20-year run is almost over.
But the show must go on, said acrobat Zbigniew "Zibi" Bachor, who has spent the past 15 years with Saltimbanco.
“For now, no emotions. Now we're holding it in,” said Bachor.
There are ten performances at the Bell Centre before the curtain falls for the last time.
The show is on every night until Dec. 30.
There are 5000 seats a night and tickets are moving well.
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