This Is How 5 Gymnasts Became Cirque du Soleil Artists! A Behind-the-Scenes Look at their Journey

This Is How 5 Gymnasts Became Cirque du Soleil Artists! A Behind-the-Scenes Look at their Journey

Ladies and gentlemen,
Cirque du Soleil and 4U2C are delighted to present
the following performance as a tribute to the athletes
TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE EVENT The 2017 Artistic Gymnastics
World Championships are taking place at the Stade
Olympique in Montreal. It’s a partnership between the
Vice-President of Casting & Performance with the International
Gymnastics Federation. We’re gonna do a 12-minute show for two of
their events. [ARTIST TRAINING DEPARTMENT] It’s gonna be starting
with Marie-Linda Bluteau. She’s gonna be doing a 5-minute
presentation of sand painting. Then that will be followed
by a banquine act. It’s gonna be a sort of an
interesting combination. The main part will
be the banquine act with 6 of our artists that have
been in training with us all summer in a program that the Artist Training
Department offers which is called PPP, it’s the Program of
Preparation for Performance. How it worked is that these artists
have been with us all summer. We had a group of 12
artists doing banquine and for the final part of
the program with C:LAB, which is Artist in Residence, we had invited choreographer
Sylvain Lafortune who works primarily at
l’École Nationale du Cirque, and he choreographed an
act for the 12 artists. And when we moved forward with this
project for the World Championships, we kept 6 of those artists. Actually, of the 12, 3 of them got
contracts on one of our shows, which is great news, and then we asked 6 of them to stay for
another 6 weeks to do this project. And also, there’s another element, 4U2C is gonna be doing video
projections for the banquine act and for the transition that
we have between the 2 acts. The first 2 weeks, the acrobatic
coach Alexey Karulin, he really wanted to come
up with some new tricks, new elements for this event because the audience at the
event, the gymnastic audience, you know, they’re used to seeing certain
figures, certain elements, certain tricks and we wanted to kind
of push the envelope and see if we could come
up with something new. So Alexey spent the first
2 weeks trying to develop that and parallelly, I was
working with the artists, doing some exploration
of the artistic work. First of all, I worked with them
two months prior to this project and after that I went home for a
small vacation in my country. And I had told them before I left Be prepared, when I come back I’m
going to really break your brain in the sense, like break your
conception about the acrobatics. One of the big challenges for
me is how it’s gonna work in the environment because we’re
going into a sports environment, the Olympic Stadium. So it’s not a theatre or a Big Top
where we have all the, you know, the support of a real
theatre environment. So just how to make it look polished,
professional within that environment, that’s a challenge, like how, what sort
of lighting we’ll be able to achieve. So we have, you have to also have
a certain openness towards that and understand that that’s kind of
part of this type of presentation. So that’s one thing
that’s challenging but I’m sure we’re gonna
find solutions with that. I have a great team helping me so I’m sure we’re gonna come up
with something beautiful. We were taught something
new and interesting. It was very interesting. Previously, I was doing a completely
different thing, not “Banqine ”. I worked with a girl. And here, “Banquine” is something magical.
I cannot even describe my emotions. It is very encouraging that we have a
chance to work with Cirque du Soleil. That is, it is not a sport, there
is a wider range of possibilities. It seems to be motivating
for achievements. Today was a big moment
for the artists because they got to
present to a big group and they got to do it in
costume for the first time. So they were really hyped
up for that, excited, they’ve been asking about the
costumes like the entire week… “When do we get to try
on the costumes?” and “Can we warm up
in the costumes?” Which they did, and their shirts
were like all sweaty and baggy and wrinkled by the time they
got to the presentation. But that’s OK, I think
they were happy to do it and yes, it was really
nice to get some feedback and you know, when you’re working
on a project, a small team, you can be a little bit, you
don’t want to become narrow, you want to keep it open. So it’s great when, you know, there’s
more diversity in the teams. So that’s really nice
to have that feedback and we still have enough time
to actually apply those notes. If the show was tomorrow I’d be
really stressed with all those notes, but we have a few days so, you know, it’s also
to balance that too, like how much of that
feedback do you take without overloading the
artists with too much stress now as they’re coming
down the finish line. So we have to kind of, you know,
juggle that and balance that to make the right choices. These artists, you know, they would like
to have a contract with Cirque, you know. They’re here, they’ve been here
all summer working really hard. Some of their colleagues did get
contracts and left for one of the shows and then these guys got this extra little
contract of this project for 6 weeks. So for them, it’s a
great opportunity to continue to show their,
you know, show themselves. It’s also a great opportunity
for them to learn so that if and when they do
get a contract with Cirque, this experience will
really serve them because it’s really important to
go through the creative process and sometimes if you go on to
a show that’s already opened, you’re just thrown into the show and you never go through
the creative process. So to actually experience what
it is to put a show together or create an act is a very good
experience for the artists. It’ll really enrich their
work as performers. So it was a really,
really strong moment. I was very happy and kind
A FEW MONTHS LATER Well actually the journey has
continued for these artists, which is really exciting for them and
for us. [ARTIST TRAINING DEVELOPMENT] So after they did the PPP
this summer, banquine PPP, they did the World Gymnastic
Championships at the Stade Olympique and then they went home. And actually it was
really exciting, a week later 2 of them got
offered contracts on Amaluna and the following week these
3 artists were offered contracts for OVO so they came
back to Montreal. They’ve been with us
for the last 7 weeks. We’re adapting the number, so
they’re in the creative process. It’s an adaptation of
an existing number and they’ve worked very hard and we’ve
done their final presentation today. So it’s very encouraging
to see their evolution and see all the
process of learning and experiences that they’ve had
over those last few months with us. Yes, I became more
open as an artist. I mean it became easier, I became
more open to the audience. To express the composition more clearly,
what I want to say, by movements, emotions. When I got here one of the
trainers Alexander Karulin said to us that we would not be
the same after all this time. At first, I thought
how is it possible? But now after 4 months of training
we are absolutely different persons. It’s amazing because if you
had seen these 3 artists when they were first starting
last summer in acting class and movement class, you know,
they’ve come a long way. So it’s very gratifying for the
coaches and to see that progress and then to see the final
product when they’re on stage and they’re connecting with
an audience and performing and giving and, you know,
entertaining people. So it’s a very, you know,
rewarding experience. Well, when I come on
stage I am recharging. I am living with a stage, like when I go
out there and I am a different person. I am recharging from the audience. Like I am not myself. And when I leave the stage I am
back to being myself, being human. And also, now I see the circus as
something different, as an art. I mean I do not want just
to show, but to create. GET TICKETS / MORE VIDEOS

12 thoughts on “This Is How 5 Gymnasts Became Cirque du Soleil Artists! A Behind-the-Scenes Look at their Journey

  1. My school has a cirque program, so I hope later on in life I am able to work for cirque du soleil as an aerialist ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜

  2. Yes there will be a gymnastics audience but theyโ€™re will be regular people who enjoy watching sports in general

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