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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “‘Saltimbanco’ to bring variety, big city lessons”

    Gymnasts. Acrobats. Clowns. Dancers. Actors.

    Throw in some live music, and you got one hell of a variety.

    “”It doesn’t happen often when people get awed by something,”” said Richard Dagenais, senior artistic director for “”Saltimbanco,”” Cirque du Soleil’s oldest touring show, which the Tucson Convention Center will host from Nov. 26 through Nov. 30.

    Cirque du Soleil pulls together talent from a range of performance art media to produce an unusual live show experience.

    “”We have to be open to pretty much anything,”” said Dagenais, the human link between company headquarters in Montreal and the tour.

    Traditional circus influences are alive and well in “”Saltimbanco,”” the first show to be taken from the big top and integrated into an arena setting.

    “”We are a circus, and we’re very proud to be in that category,”” Dagenais said. “”This is where we came from.””

    “”Saltimbanco”” is about big city life and the culture created when a variety of people reside so close to one another.

    “”A lot of times it’s easy to fall into the trap of all the negatives that a big city will bring,”” Dagenais said.

    Symbolic characters and images take the audience on a walk through the city streets of an artistic dream world.

    “”Through the encounters that you have in a big city, you grow as a people,”” Dagenais said. “”You evolve as a society.””

    While it’s always nice to have an underlying message, the flipping trapeze artists and hypnotizing colors may be a little distracting.

    “”If you had a good time, it doesn’t matter if you understood all the images, all the concepts,”” Dagenais said. “”Some will go deeper, but some will just have fun and that’s great.””

    Pure entertainment is something anyone can relate to, and Dagenais said his shows draw audiences with as much variety as the performance.

    “”It’s not like a Shakespeare play,”” he said. “”It’s more than just a show. It’s an experience. Kids love it too, and adults become kids again.””

    When asked what he hopes the audience walks away with, Dagenais’ answer was perhaps as simple as it gets.

    “”Just a smile.””

    Nov. 26 – Nov. 30
    Tucson Convention Center
    Tickets: $40 to $90

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