Ladies and gentlemen, Cirque du Soleil and 4U2C
are delighted to present the following performance
as a tribute to the athletes at these World Championships.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS 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 of touched actually.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS 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.
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