Cirque Du Soleil is coming to Newcastle for the first time next week, performing ‘Saltimbanco’. I can’t wait to go along to opening night on the 20th of July at the Newcastle Entertainment Center. In the lead up to the circus coming to town, I had a chat with Maxime Charbonneau, the show’s Publicist. Saltimbanco runs from July 20th to 24th.
Cirque Soleil Website
Fern: La Cirque Du Soleil’s (Circus of the Sun) signature and longest running show ‘Saltimbanco’ is currently in Australia for a five month national tour, with three shows a little off the beaten track in Hobart, Newcastle and Wollongong. I’m looking forward to seeing the show in Newcastle. How has the tour been so far?
Maxime: We are all very excited and have just got back from a two-week break, so we are all energised. So far the tour has been amazing! The Brisbane shows played to sold out crowds with a great response. The show sold out in Tasmania. This is the first time we have done the regional shows, so the first time we have performed for the audience in Tasmania, with a great response! Everywhere the response has been amazing.
Fern: Cirque Du Soleil has come from humble beginnings in the early 1980s, when a group of talented street performers in Quebec, Canada impressed local audiences and organised international gatherings of street performers from all over the world. Cirque Du Soleil was then created and has gone from strength to strength. Is Cirque Du Soleil still connected to the international street performing scenes?
Maxime: We try never to forget where we come from. Originally, it was a little group of street performers who dreamed of something different, of putting ahead the human performance and showcasing what the human body is capable of.
We now have 22 shows playing around the world. We connect in with local circuses and circus schools in the cities where we perform. We employ people from all over the world. The casting department travels all over the world to find performers, to find talent. If you dream of joining Cirque Du Soleil, go onto the casting section of our webpage and create yourself a profile on the website. One of our Australian performers, Kieran Bourke from Melbourne, was from the ‘Flying Fruit Fly Circus’. He created a demo video and sent it in to us. He has now been with the show for over the year. He was inspired to pursue his circus career by going to see Cirque Soleil in 1999.
Fern: There are many elements to the eclectic experience that is Cirque Du Soleil. The performers are some of the world’s best, the costume, makeup and sets are incredible and the music is central to the whole experience. There are over 2500 costumes pieces for the show! I love that this show goes all out to create a sensory feast. In what way do you hope this show will touch the audience?
Maxime: In many ways! People of all ages have been coming to see Cirque Du Soleil for decades. They are touched by the characters who invite audience members to come and play on stage. By the acrobatics, by what people are capable of doing 12m up in the air. What people are able to do, pushing the limits. The whole mix, people will be touched in different ways. We have received so many messages, thankyous from the experience for the show. We are very proud of the way this show touches audiences around the world.
Fern: Saltimbanco is inspired by the Urban Metropolis, by a city’s colourful inhabitants. Diversity is a reason for hope. The show’s cast are truly international, coming from more than 50 countries. Can you tell me more about the central theme of celebrating diversity?
Maxime: The theme behind Saltimbanco is the evolution of the different characters. These stories create the unique show that is Saltimbanco. The characters develop their identities and learn to be expressive and unique, to express themselves. This is the message. If we are unique and different, we can create a world all together. This is the message of the circus, even if you are far away, we can all work together. Everybody understands the circus language, the language of the human body. This show is appreciated by audiences the world over. The circus world is accessible by everybody.