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Friday, October 12, 2012

Montreal's Circus Culture Hides In Plain Sight (PHOTOS)
 
from---huffingtonpost.com
Posted: 10/11/2012
At the edge of Montreal's Saint-Michel neighborhood, a zone known for the diversity of its immigrant populations and street gangs, a relatively unremarkable office park perches on the edge of a landfill. The glassy facades of the three buildings are pleasantly unremarkable in the way that most office park buildings occupied by accountants, insurance agents and software developers are pleasantly unremarkable. The parking lots are filled with average cars.
Ecole National De Cirque
Inside the school, which does function as a traditional school, future performers perfect tricks and learn new skills in a padded environment.
This is all to say that a passerby hustling along Boulevard Saint-Michel hoping not to get mugged would probably never guess that this place is devoted to pushing the physical limits of the human body, making the impossible achievable through practice.

TOHU
The one giveaway may be the round theater in the middle of the TOHU center.
The buildings are the Ecole National De Cirque, the TOHU Cite Des Arts Du Cirque and the International Headquarters of Cirque du Soleil. They house, on any given day, what may well be the highest concentration of traditional circus skill in the world. Inside, men and women bend themselves into unlikely shapes, hoist each other high into the air and ride very, very, very small bicycles.
Wandering the halls of the Ecole National De Cirque -- unfortunately off limits to the general public -- is like walking the halls of that mutant prep school from the X-Men comic books. In one room, a group of 13-year-olds diligently read and answer questions. In the next room, two women roll around in metal wheels, spinning like quarters about to go heads up only to return to their rims again. Through one door, a clown does a silent, mesmerizing dance while laughing to himself.

Cirque Du Soleil
Sure, something crazy is going on there, but from the outside it might as be Mutual of Omaha.
It should be said that not all the rooms here are the same size. Some are classrooms, others are basically airplane hangers carpeted with pads and foam shape filled pools so aerialists can practice their most dangerous tricks on wires, corde lisse and aerial hoops.
The graduates of this academy of the unbelievable frequently go to work for their neighbors, Cirque Du Soleil. The Cirque building is a no more than 100 yards away and the demand for their particular skills is amplified by their obvious scarcity.
read more---
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/montreals-circus-culture-_n_1955038.html

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