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Posted On: 7 July 2012 12:11 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:12 pm

Celebration of human endurance and agility

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At least 18,000 people would have seen Saltimbanco, the longest running show from the globally acclaimed entertainment group Cirque du Soleil, at Doha’s Aspire Dome when it concludes today, after four days and six shows. The first ever Qatar staging of a show seen by more than 13mn people all around the world since its opening in 1992, is concluding with the last two performances at 4pm and 8pm. Saltimbanco – from the Italian ‘saltare in banco,’ which literally means ‘to jump on a bench,’ is inspired by the urban fabric of the metropolis and its colourful inhabitants and features a cast of 50 artistes from 21 countries. Screen Shot 2012-07-07 at 12.09.12.png Adagio, inspired by a discipline called acrosport, featured acrobats Luke Rooney, Corey Hartung and Valeriia Chyzhevska whose bodies melded together to create startling figures. A show of strength, flexibility, balance and grace, this act evoked birth, the family unit and the fragility of life in today’s metropolis. ‘Multicoloured Worms’ or characters dressed in hooded multicoloured body suits slipped onto the stage next and climbed on Chinese poles, which symbolise the skyscrapers of ‘Saltimbanco.’ Leaping from pole to pole, they soared through the air in a breathtaking display of agility, power and speed. This act was inspired by a Chinese discipline and featured over 26 acrobats performing at over 25 feet above the stage.Eddie the clown in his distinctive red cap, black bow tie, striped shorts and suspenders, struck the right chord and tempo, evoking bouts of laughter and applause. Aerial straps, a solo performance by Ruslan Khakimullin involved the artiste doing a number of breathtaking acrobatic moves using a single strap as the prop. Balancing on canes by Ariunsanaa Bataa, saw her executing a series of gymnastic moves requiring great strength, impressive control and flexibility. Juggling by Terry Velasquez proved to be a treat as the artiste displayed outstanding deftness, speed and rhythm even as he handled an increasing number of balls. The last act of the first half was Adriana Pegueroles and Eduardo Rodriguez performing with Boleadoras, a simple percussion instrument made of a weight attached to the end of a cord. Screen Shot 2012-07-07 at 12.10.07.png The weights bounced off a special platform on the floor and made exploding sounds either in unison or in counterpoint to the dance steps of the artistes. After the intermission, the band got a slot for a solo act, highlighting the talents of Adrian Andres (lead guitar), Daniel Immel (bass, band leader), Serge Maheux (percussion), Philippe Poirier (saxophone), Alejandro Romero Lopez (keyboard), and singers Anna Bille and Charlie Jones. Next was the Russian Swing with a family of baroque characters invading the stage. Leaping from a Russian swing, performers were catapulted up to 30 feet in the air where they executed breathtaking aerial jumps before falling either on their feet, on the shoulders of their partners or atop a human pyramid. The solo trapeze act by Sarah Heffner was a display of sheer harmony and beauty, as she performed a stunning aerial ballet. Eddie took the centre stage once again, this time roping in a member of the audience and inspiring him to perform, providing an immensely entertaining act. Hand to hand, featuring Constantin Ciobotaru and Dan-Florin Tazlauanu kept the audience spellbound as the duo displayed tremendous power and an unwavering sense of balance while pushing their bodies to the limits of human endurance. The ringmaster and the dreamer enacted a parody of the hand to hand act subsequently, before Saltimbanco moved on to its final act of bungees. Four performers tied to bungees swung, dropped and flew in the air in ways that defied gravity. They performed an aerial ballet on an opera theme, giving spectators an impression that they are looking at magnificent birds soaring through the sky. Screen Shot 2012-07-07 at 12.10.50.png Gulf Times