Saltimbanco | Cirque du SoleilLeft - Hand to Hand. Photo - www.osaimages.com. Cover - Chinese Poles

If you have ever thought of running away to join the Circus, you couldn’t do better than Cirque du Soleil. But you would have to be extraordinarily talented to get in to it! Writing a review of this phenomenon, I am bound to run out of superlatives.

Saltimbanco is one of the earliest of the many shows of Cirque du Soleil, having travelled the world in various combinations for nearly 20 years, and it has now left the Big Top for the big fixed venue.

The astounding artistes (including two from Australia) that this amazing company has assembled from more than twenty other countries push to the limits, in breath-taking style, the astonishing capacities of the human body, such that if it weren’t seen it could not be believed.

Sixteen people climb effortlessly straight up thin poles, as if they were walking up the front steps. Then they perform neatly choreographed, synchronised, gravity-defying acts whilst up these poles to the gasps of the audience. There is a lot of gasping – for example at the apparently impossible ballet on a bike performed by Ivan Do-Duc, which would be completely illegal, not to mention traffic-stopping on the road, and at the bodily contortions of Ariunsanaa Bataa.

More gasps as the troupe leapt skywards off the Russian Swing, and as muscle men Darren Bersuk and Etienne Deneault showed what can be achieved with real strength, and complete trust, and as Terry Velasquez juggled not only three or five, but nine balls with speed that made counting them impossible.

There is trapeze (Marion Verd), there is colour, there are contortionists, there are outrageous costumes, there is the apt and exciting music of Rene Dupere, and there is a lot of laughter with the non-traditional but special to the Cirque clowns. Martin Pons as Eddie is a stand-out with his precise, crisp mime and sound effects, and his ability to involve and inspire audience participation.

But most of all in this feast of circus arts is the amazing cooperation, well-rehearsed fluidity of movement and coordination, teamwork, showmanship – even in the scene changes – and absolute trust that has to exist for these feats to be performed. The artistes, musicians and crew work together as a well-oiled machine, epitomising the philosophy of guide and founder Guy Laliberte: “Saltimbanco represents the challenge we have in today’s world: respecting each other, living and working together, despite our differences. We have to believe in a better world, and believe that we can pay a role in it.”


CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – SALTIMBANCO 2011 AUSTRALIAN TOUR


PERTH - From 21 April 2011 - Challenge Stadium
Tickets on sale 9AM Saturday 16 October 2010
Bookings: Ticketmaster 136 100 or www.ticketmaster.com.au

ADELAIDE - From 12 May 2011 - Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

MELBOURNE - From 25 May 2011 - Rod Laver Arena
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849, www.ticketek.com.au

HOBART - 15 to 19 June 2011 - Derwent Entertainment Centre
Tickets on sale 9AM Saturday 16 October 2010
Bookings: Ticketmaster 136 100 or www.ticketmaster.com.au

BRISBANE - From 8 July 2011 - Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

NEWCASTLE - 20 to 24 July 2011 - Newcastle Entertainment Centre
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

SYDNEY - From 27 July 2011 - ACER Arena
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

WOLLONGONG - 17 to 21 August 2011 - WIN Entertainment Centre
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

Tickets: Adults: $69-$119, Children (2-12 years): $55-$95, Premium: $149-$159, Tapis Rouge VIP Experience $325

Times*: Tuesday to Thursday 8pm, Friday to Saturday 4pm & 8pm, Sunday 1pm & 5pm * Show times may vary

Visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/Saltimbanco


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