To a first time observer of such a spectacle as a Cirque du Soliel’s Kooza, it would seem nearly impossible to pull off such feats of daring with nary a scratch following the performance. Indeed, the risks are high to thrill an audience that is kept on the edge of their seats throughout the performance only to be eased back a moment to laugh at a clown before being thrown into the gut wrencher again as show stopping stunts continue throughout the evening’s show.
Evident by the sculpted physiques of these daredevil athletes, it takes a fair bit of work to get into shape for one of Cirque’s grand performances. The balance, perception, and conviction needed to go through with the stunts must be spot on every time. The physical and mental fitness of the performers are constantly tested as they strive to stay choreographed with a live band as they attempt and sometimes re-attempt their feats of daring.
One stumble on the frightening Wheel of Death leads to a fifty foot drop to the stage below. A misstep on the high wire or a slip on the trapeze lead to similar fates at the mercy of gravity. Of course, it is the performers, through their long hours of arduous training, that have seemed to have conquered gravity itself as they spin, flip, and fly through the air. They slice through the thick tension-filled air as the crowd anticipates the heart-stopping fall that does not happen. It truly is fantastic.
So, what if you really did want to run away and join the circus? How would you get through a Cirque audition? It is no easy task to be certain, and the physical training is daunting. Once a performer is welcomed into the fold, many more months of practice before performance is the common mandate.
Say you wanted to be a high wire acrobat like the daring acrobatic cyclists under Kooza’s Grand Chapiteau? Try grabbing a slackline at Rhope, and support a local business while you are at it.
In the case you wanted to stand head and shoulders above the rest, Calgary’s Green Fools Theatre has exactly what you need in the stilt department. Free drop in classes are available Monday nights from 6pm-9pm according to their website. Or, maybe check out the newest stilting craze and try some “powerbocking” on the intriguing and some say, dangerous, power stilts, selling in Calgary now!
What good circus performer can’t do a backflip? Practice your gymnastics skills with a new backyard trampoline with available weather resistant cover from Play Factory, right here in Calgary.
See, preparing to join the circus won’t be that hard! Many training resources are available right here in town. Just be prepared for a few thrilling spills and tumbles along the way. All kidding aside, the years of training, practice and lifelong dedication these artists have put into their atheletic craft could not be easily duplicated. But it might be fun to try!! Get your inspiration from Cirque itself and see the show at Stampede Park before October 24, when the production packs up and leaves as quickly as it arrived.