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Cirque du Soleil Brings Final Tour Performances of Saltimbanco to Central Texas
By Henri A. Gutierrez

    One of Cirque du Soleil's first shows will be closing their curtains for the very last time this year.  The 20 year old production of Saltimbanco started one of their last tour dates iat the Cedar Park Center yesterday, December 12,th and will continue through December 16th.
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     “Its been a trail blazer for the company,” said Maxine Charboneau, Saltimbanco’s touring publicist for the past thee years. “It’s been the introduction to Cirque du Soleil. Very often, it’s the first contact audiences have to Cirque.”
     “Its a true classic because its a show that is a simple production in a good way,” she added.
    By its very definition, Saltimbanco means “to jump on a bench” in Italian, a prelude to the simplicity of the show.
“It's a tribute to our roots, where Cirque is from,” she said. “It’s a show about evolution, the creation of a mysterious city where all sorts of characters meet and learn how to work together.  You have all sorts of fun silly characters. Colorful, eccentric, sexy, childish - it’s kind of like a meeting of individuality and creates this unique world that is Saltimbanco.”
    Being one of the oldest Cirque tours, Saltimbanco has been through an evolution of its own. Once a “big top production,” playing under a traveling tent theatre, the show has been touring as an arena show for approximately five years now.
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     “If you saw the show eight of nine years ago, the acrobatics are much different now,” Charboneau said. “The show has evolved, the music has changed a little. One thing with Cirque is you always have to stay true and respect the original concept. For us to fit in arenas, we had to slightly modify the show. Over all, the base of the show is the same.”
    Saltimbanco will hold its last performance in Montreal later this month, where the Cirque du Soleil headquarters are located. With the close of this particular show, Cirque plans on continuing the tradition with new shows and new adaptations of current shows.
    “Cirque always has new productions in the works,” she said.  “We have a big top production in the works, we have one of our big top shows that will be transformed into an arena show. Saltimbanco will close, but there is a natural rotation to shows. Varekai, the current big top touring show was created in 2002 or 2003, so its been touring for 10 years under a big top - and that's about a life time for a big top show.”
Cedar Park audiences have the opputunity to be a part of the Saltimbanco experience and performance. One of the most unique and exciting aspects of the show is an audience paticipation performance.


(Photos by Olivier Samson Arcand; costumes by Dominique Lemieux - © 2007 Cirque du Soleil Inc.)
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