Fre­quent Flier

Ae­ri­al­ist Anne Weiss­becker lifts the cur­tain on what it’s like to per­form with Cirque du Soleil

Where Vancouver - - Entertainment - By Jill VOn Sprecken

“We all have, I’m sure, weird lug­gage,” laughs Anne Weiss­becker. The ae­ri­al­ist is talk­ing about what it’s like to travel with Cirque du Soleil—around six cities a year, with two months spent in each lo­ca­tion. “Your whole life is in your suit­case,” she says. “I am French, so I al­ways have my cof­fee ma­chine, and some pans to cook. You have to find things that make you happy.”

Weiss­becker has been liv­ing out of that suit­case for about three years, which is how long she’s been tour­ing North Amer­ica with Cirque’s Kurios: Cabi­net of Cu­riosi­ties (Oct. 19 to Dec. 31; page 54). Be­fore that, she un­packed her bags in Las Ve­gas for five years, per­form­ing in an­other Cirque du Soleil show: The Bea­tles LOVE. Her spe­cialty? “Ev­ery­thing fly­ing,” she says.

In Kurios, the ae­ri­al­ist per­forms her ac­ro­bat­ics on a nor­mal bi­cy­cle—that flies through the air. At one point, her bike is even turned topsy-turvy, and she rides it up­side-down. She ex­plains that the bi­cy­cle is more than just a sim­ple prop. “Peo­ple can re­ally re­late to the bike,” she says. “Some­times when you go see a cir­cus show, you will see a trapeze or a hoop, and it’s harder to imag­ine what it feels to be on it.”

Un­like many cir­cus sto­ries, Weiss­becker didn’t want to run away with the cir­cus—she sim­ply Ae­ri­al­ist Anne Weiss­becker per­forms ac­ro­bat­ics on a fly­ing bi­cy­cle for Cirque du Soliel’s Kurios wanted to take a gym­nas­tics class. But in her neigh­bour­hood in France, the cir­cus school was closer, so she joined up. She loved it, and be­fore long found her­self do­ing shows with a group of other kids. “I re­al­ized I re­ally en­joyed per­form­ing as well,” she says. Her de­ci­sion to be­come pro­fes­sional led her to the Na­tional Cir­cus School in Mon­treal, Canada. From there, Cirque du Soleil was only a leap away.

For Weiss­becker, the av­er­age day—if any day can be called “av­er­age” in the cir­cus—in­volves a lot of prepa­ra­tion. Even ap­ply­ing make-up be­fore a show takes 45 min­utes, and a warm-up takes an hour. “Some­times peo­ple are won­der­ing what we do in our days, be­cause they see just the show, and it looks like it goes fast.” She ex­plains that a per­former’s day is spent train­ing, learn­ing new acts, prac­tis­ing stag­ing, and mak­ing sure their bod­ies are flex­i­ble and strong.

How­ever, even aeri­al­ists need days off. And although Weiss­becker hasn’t vis­ited Van­cou­ver be­fore, she’s look­ing for­ward to ex­plor­ing her tem­po­rary home. “I’m ex­cited be­cause ev­ery­body says it’s so beau­ti­ful. I heard that all around the city it’s re­ally gor­geous.” Sounds like the per­fect place to un­pack a suit­case and stay awhile.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.