Cirque du Soleil’s production of Quidam opens tonight at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
While the performance itself has been called “spectacular” by critics, what goes on beforehand is equally impressive.
Performers, musicians, costume designers and more were busy examining the stage at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre in preparation for the show.
As acrobats hung from the ceiling, skippers warmed up back stage.
Jessica Leboeuf, spokesperson for Quidam said it takes 13 months for the production to be ready for a live performance.
Quidam features everything from acrobats to jugglers, clowns, skippers, great costumes and a live band.
“Half of the time the performers are following the music and half of the time the music is following the performance.”
Life as a member of Quidam is never boring.
Julie Cameron is a 23 year old aerial artist who has performed in Quidam for the past five years.
Born in the UK, she originally started out as a gymnast. But once she saw a Cirque du Soleil show, she was hooked.
“That’s when I knew this was something I really wanted to do.”
She has performed in three different acts for Quidam, but and while she likes them all, she seems to have found her niche high above the stage.
“I learned aerial hoops after being here for two and a half years. That’s the act I perform almost every night.
The hoops has Cameron performing as high as 40 feet above the stage and like all Quidam acts, requires hours of practice.
“Almost every day we do practice. It goes in cycles. Sometimes you feel great for 10 weeks and then you could have a really bad 10 weeks and you’re in pain. But most acrobats they always have something wrong with them but we’re all very well trained so it’s not that dangerous because we’re trained to do what we do every day.”
Performers work for 10 weeks and then get two weeks off. They also have Monday and Tuesday off on the weeks they work.
During her career, Cameron said she has performed thousands of times, all over the world.
“I still get nervous, just a little bit anxious. Before it was scary nervous but now it’s nervous in a good way,” she said.
Cameron said while audiences are always appreciative of the performer’s talents, the acrobats themselves sometimes forget how impressive their routines can be.
“We’re in a little bubble here. So when you speak to people outside the bubble then you are reminded of where you are and what you do and how important it is.”
Quidam plays in Abbotsford until Sunday.