News: This is how the amazing Cirque Éloize cast nail their tricks

Tuesday 3 October 2017

h2. The Cowboy

Also know as: Johan Prytz

‘I grew up in Sweden and moved to Montreal for circus. I’ve been spending the past couple of years on tour having the time of my life.

I play the lonely cowboy. It’s very much the stereotype of a cowboy. He lives in a world of his own where imagination and reality blend together. He also serves as the storyteller of the show.’

The trick:

‘It takes years of training and I still train most days to maintain this move. The training gives me a muscle memory to perform it and so it allows me to think of my performance more than doing the move. I have a specific set of exercises I do in the straps, with my normal training routine taking about an hour. I also do conditioning in the gym and a lots of body weight training.’

h2. The Stranger

Also known as: Félix Pouliot

‘I’m a circus artist from Montreal. I was supposed to be an engineer when I realize that sitting behind a desk all day wouldn’t be exactly what I was expecting from life. I ended up in a circus camp because my parents wanted me to do some exercises and I got hooked.

The Stranger is an old soul that carries the mystery of the hard workers that made the construction of western civilization possible.’

The Trick:

‘There is no half measure for this trick. The way I train is to practice it first in a safe environment (with mats) for long enough to feel in control on the jump. It hurts only when my costume rips, but other than that, it’s pretty smooth.

I also really enjoy being thrown onto the pole by two other acrobats and catching the pole with only me feet. I like it because it’s a trick I’ve never seen and the satisfaction of doing it is particularly enjoyable.’

h2. Name: Calamity Jane

Also known as: Shena Tschofen

‘I grew up in Minnesota, where I started performing circus and playing violin when I was very young. I spent a year studying dance at university before I moved to Montreal to study at the National Circus School, where I specialized in Cyr wheel and minored in lasso. I’ve studied classical violin and traditional fiddle music for over 15 years.

Calamity is the cowgirl in the corner of the bar observing everything over a shot of hard liquor. She`s a bit of a loner and she`s not afraid to use her strength if necessary.’

The trick:

‘Everything in the wheel works with momentum. The rotation of the wheel keeps me from tipping over, but it’s also about where I put my weight. That move took me a while to stabilize, because anytime my weight is high in the wheel, there’s a lot less room for error.

I also do a move where I hang on the top of my wheel from my armpits; it sounds a lot less elegant than it looks. I have a contest going with myself to see how long I can hold it before I either lose momentum or lose the balance. Once, I had the balance of it so well that I got stuck on top of my wheel and had to wait until it stopped spinning to come down!’

Cirque Éloize – Saloon is at Sadler’s Wells from the 4 – 21 Oct.

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