A new arena show that combines theatre, dance, music and acrobatics is making its Iowa debut tonight.
Cirque du Soliel features more than 50 performers from 19 nations. One of the event’s spokesman is Justin Beard, a California native who counts stilt-walking among his list of talents.
Beard says, “It’s an absolutely beautiful show full of acrobatic spectacles, incredible trapeze acts, bright colors, live music, truly one of a kind, beautiful, beautiful images in the show.” This incarnation of the Cirque — or circus in French — is appearing in 40 cities across the U.S. and Canada, with stops in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and the Quad Cities. Beard says don’t mistake this event for a “regular” circus.
“There’s no animals in this circus. There’s only humans. Some of the highest-trained and most incredible acrobats on the planet are scouted and recruited by Cirque du Soliel,” Beard says. “The acts are top-notch quality. The esthetic of the circus isn’t so much a circus in a ring but it’s set up in an arena and it’s much more of a theatrical experience rather than the typical lion tamer picture you might have of a circus.” He says this touring version of the Quebec, Canada-based show is known as Saltimbanco.
“It comes from the words ‘saltare in banco’ which means to jump on a bench, which is Italian. It comes from the olden days when a performer would jump onto a bench and take a public space and turn it into a performative space,” Beard says. The show is in Des Moines at the Iowa Events Center for six performances Thursday through Sunday, with stops in the Quad Cities April 15-18 and in Cedar Rapids April 23-27. For information, visit the Cirque du Soliel website .