IGOR KAR­POV, 37 HEAD AC­RO­BAT­ICS COACH

Where London - - Where Now Cirque Du Soleil -

C irque Du Soleil’s Jan­uary shows at the Royal Al­bert Hall have be­come as much of a new year tra­di­tion as fire­works over the River Thames. This year, Koozå re­turns for its sec­ond London out­ing, mix­ing clown­ing with spec­tac­u­lar ac­ro­batic acts.

Many old cir­cus favourites are up­dated, from hoop spin­ners and con­tor­tion­ists to trapeze artists and high-wire acts. Oth­ers are Cirque spe­cial­i­ties: in the heartin-mouth Wheel Of Death, two per­form­ers leap in and out of two gi­ant ham­ster wheels spin­ning on each end of a vast, ro­tat­ing pen­du­lum; the thrilling teeter­board act that closes the show is like a gi­ant see­saw in which one per­former stands at one end, and is sent hurtling through the air when two oth­ers jump on to the other end. On stilts.

Hav­ing just cel­e­brated its 30th an­niver­sary last year, Cirque has played to nearly 150 mil­lion peo­ple on six con­ti­nents, with rev­enues ap­proach­ing $1 bil­lion a year. So what is it like to run off and join the cir­cus? We asked two Cirque vet­er­ans and one new­comer.

WHY CIRQUE? It is breathtaking, un­be­liev­able. You can­not de­scribe it in words. I’ve been a gym­nast since I was six years old − I was in the Rus­sian ju­nior squad, then I moved to Eng­land when I was 18 and lived there for 13 years. I got a wrist in­jury, so ended up do­ing a lot of coach­ing at dif­fer­ent clubs. In 2008, I got a call from Cirque Du Soleil. I’d wanted to work with them ever since see­ing Ale­gría six years be­fore. A TYP­I­CAL DAY: No two days are ever the same; Cirque is like a liv­ing, breath­ing or­gan­ism. If it’s a two-show day, we have maybe just one or two train­ing ses­sions, oth­er­wise we’ll have quite a few ses­sions on stage with dif­fer­ent acts. We take a very high level of ac­ro­bat: some have been do­ing it for 40 years and are very knowl­edge­able. On the other hand, we have brand-new peo­ple com­ing in all the time. MY LONDON: I re­ally love my food, so I’m look­ing for­ward to a good English break­fast, with sausages, eggs and beans − it’s not the same any­where else! I like the di­ver­sity of London, try­ing dif­fer­ent cuisines. When you’re trav­el­ling the world, you can never get a great curry like you can buy in London.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.