Having seen Cirque de Soleil’s Beatles show in Las Vegas, I have seen for myself the sense of awe and wonder their shows bring to audiences. So when I was invited to come backstage to see the performers practicing their craft and the beautiful stages and lights to complement it, I felt quite honoured. After chatting with the circus’s International Publicist Francis Jalbert about the five years of work that goes into presenting the show all around the world with shipping and having so many performers to accommodate for, I got to speak with Umihiko Miya, a high bars performer from Japan about his experiences with the circus and their new show Totem.
How long have you been a high bars performer for? What got you into it?
I have a high bars performer ever since Cirque de Soleil’s creation five and a half years ago in Montreal.
What countries have you travelled to thanks to your work?
I have been to the UK, the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and now Australia.
How did you get involved with Cirque de Soleil?
Earlier on in my career was a gymnastics performer, and when I was living in San Francisco and found out about performing with Cirque de Soleil. I sent in an audition tape, and without even having to audition in person, I got the job. I also now a captain to new performers and train them for the shows we do.
How would you describe Cirque de Soleil’s new show Totem in your own words?
It is about the evolution of the human race from the beginning of time to the day we can fly out into space. It expresses the passion the human race has for its future.
What are you plans for the future?
After the show has completed its tour of Australia, it will be going to Japan. Eventually I would like to find a career where I can keep healthy. Perhaps something in clothing design, open some restaurants, be a radio DJ or acting. I really enjoy creative jobs and would like to keep pursuing that line of work.
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Thursday 22 January 2015