Artistic director Fabrice Lemire is on the ice with the performers during rehearsal to go over the details of the show that night. Mark Brett/Western News

Mixing acrobats and ice for Cirque du Soleil art

The challenge of mixing two disciplines for art director in upcoming Penticton show

Bringing ice and art together on a new stage was the task given to Fabrice Lemire after signing on with Cirque du Soleil’s production of Crystal.

The veteran artistic director has been a member of the Cirque family for a decade now so is no stranger to raising the bar when it comes to delivering the goods his bosses demand.

And part of the way he does that is by putting it all, or at least some of it, back on his performers to bring to the show, something especially important this time around.

What better aspect to just really dig into the brain of the performers about where you think it can go or not go there, also how can we challenge you and have you push your boundaries,” said Lemire during a stop in San Diego. “What is beautiful about this show is we really brought the two brains (acrobats and skaters) not just at what they’re good at but to merge with the universe of each other.”

Lemire was classically trained in dance in Paris and toured the world as a principal dancer and guest artist with many productions before joining Cirque.

He is responsible for maintaining the show’s artistic integrity, concept and content as well as overseeing the performers and artistic team.

“I don’t like the status quo and when I talk to you about me being outside the box, that’s what I’m asking of the performers as well,” he said previously. “My request from the performers is, give me your emotions, what is your intention, tell me your story.’ All of this is very much finding within themselves someone they are not so they surprise themselves so they grow as an artist.”

On this project he also had outside help from a creative team including people who are very familiar with the ice scene, people like Kurt Browning, Canadian figure skater, choreographer and commentator who is a four-time World Champion and four- time Canadian national champion.

“The element of ice was a challenge for me as artistic director and was new to me,” said Lemire. “What I had to do was still find a way to bring and recreate a flow, so it’s not just continuing onto the ice and leaving aside what we’ve been doing for 30 years but how we can merge what we’ve been doing for 30 years with what we are doing on the ice, embracing new opportunities with the resources of our creative team.”

Related:Okanagan woman living the dream with Cirque du Soleil

Lemire embraces the challenge aspect of putting on live shows and even though they do multiple shows in a row and the same performance over many years.

“It’s always ongoing,” he said about keeping things fresh. “I think that’s the beauty of the live show, it’s a living organism and what’s keeping it alive is the soul and the heart of the body itself.

“The acrobats and the skaters for this show are all the veins of the tree. You have a skeleton around it, the blood flows into those roots and branches and the bark is really the role the performers plays.”

Cirque is coming to Abbotsford Centre April 11 to 15 and Penticton’s South Okanagan Events Centre April 18 to 22.

Tickets for the Penticton show are available in person at the Valley First Box Office (at the SOEC), over the phone at 1-877-763-2849 or online. Tickets for the Abbotsford show are available at the Abbotsford Centre box office, by phone at 1-855-985-5000 or online.

 

Cirque du Soleil artistic director Fabrice Lemire works with his performers. Mark Brett/Western News

Just Posted

West Kelowna residents remain on alert due to wildfire

Evacuation alerts are in effect for properties in the Glenrosa area

Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire burns at 400 hectares

An evacuation alert remains in effect for those on Lakeshore Road

Smoky skies bulletin remains for Okanagan Valley

Still, a smoky skies bulletin was issued for the Okanagan

Updated: Peachland fire crews monitor fires this morning

Crews continue to battle the 1,000 hectare Mount Eneas blaze south of Peachland

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Update: Skeleton crew to watch 1,000 hectare wildfire near Peachland overnight

Peachland - Evacuation orders have been issued for Brent Road and Highway 97 South properties

Police to provide update on case against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur

McArthur worked as a landscaper, allegedly concealed the remains of seven men in planters

Premiers to wrap up 2 days of meetings at New Brunswick seaside resort

Meetings held in the scenic seaside town of St. Andrews on Thursday focused on trade

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

On the street: Kelowna reacts to 2018 wildfires

BC Wildfire is working with local departments to battle multiple blazes near Kelowna.

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Update: Size of large fire near Keremeos unknown

Two significant fires are burning in the Lower Similkameen, smoke can be seen as far away as Osoyoos

Penticton bans open burning

Temporary fire ban takes effect noon Friday

Most Read