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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Circus career flying


Baroque characters from Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco. Source: The Daily Telegraph
Sally Bennett

From: Herald Sun

May 27, 2011
LIFE on the road with the world's most acclaimed circus can be a bit of a juggle. But after two years touring with Cirque du Soleil, Melbourne acrobat Keiran Bourke has found his feet.
Weekly moves from one city to the next, disconnected from family and friends, is now the norm for the 22-year-old, who has found love on tour and is relishing the nomadic lifestyle.
"I've lost count of how many countries I've been to," Bourke says.
"It's great fun being able to travel the world and get paid for it. There's not much more I could ask for."
His girlfriend is Saltimbanco teammate Arena, a Mongolian-born, Brazilian-raised acrobat and contortionist.
For now, working and travelling together on the same show is a blessing, affording them much down-time together.
"If you end up in different shows, it's more difficult. Then you've got to do the long-distance thing," Bourke says.
"One of the guys has a girlfriend on another show and each tour break they go and see each other."
Bourke, who trained at Albury-Wodonga's Flying Fruit Fly Circus, has a contract with Cirque until the end of the year, but hopes this is just the beginning of his high-flying career.
It is the first time he has performed for Cirque in Australia and he is thrilled to be on home soil.
"I didn't think we were going to come to Australia and I got pretty excited when they told us," Bourke says. "Everyone will be able to see what I've been doing for so many years. It's nerve-wracking, but it's good to be here."
Bourke's parents, two brothers and old friends from the Fruit Fly Circus will be among the crowd during Saltimbanco's Melbourne season at Rod Laver Arena.
Bourke says he spends about an hour on stage and is one of the performers who do the famous Chinese Poles.
"Everyone's really close. We all look after each other," he says of his teammates. "We've got to have a lot of trust in each other. In some things we've actually got each other's lives in our hands."
SALTIMBANCO, Cirque du Soleil, performing at Rod Laver Arena until June 11. Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au or ph: 132 849

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