The Color Behind Cirque Du Soleil's Saltimbanco in Manila

In a very rare occasion, a Cirque Du Soleil fan, ehem, had a wonderful time seeing the colorful - and very organized - backstage of one of Cirque's most precious touring show, Saltimbanco, hours before its first show here in Manila. And I must tell you, it was really a pleasure to see and to know things about this production right from the mouth of people behind it because each step towards their every room here in SM Mall of Asia Arena was already to surprise worth cherishing all my life.

Please take note that this backstage tour, which was lead my Saltimbanco Publicist, Mr. Maxime Charbonneau, isn't part of the show's treat. It was an exclusive tour for media personalities, and I, being of those lucky few, just enjoyed everything that they offered to us that morning.

Maxime Charbonneau

When Varekai had their show here in Manila last year, I have no idea as to how the casts look in real life, but here in Saltimbanco, we actually had a chance to see theme closeup, had a few chats with them and even saw them prep for the upcoming show. And that's where Mr. Maxime brought us.

Unlike the other shows that I've seen before, which are mostly concerts, Cirque Du Soleil's Saltimbanco has a very different backstage. No, it wasn't full of people nor boxes, but rather a gym-like setup like this.

Before going in, Mr. Maxime make sure that none of us will step on those blue carpet by giving us three simple rules: one, do not step on the blue carpet; two, do not step on the blue carpet; and three, do not step on the blue carpet.

It is here that performers do their stretching and some final rehearsals before the show, so it is important that its out of non-performers and clean as always.

After imparting some more do's and don'ts to us, Mr. Maxime, then opened a box full of head dresses - a surprise to all of us that was simply breathtaking.

Never in my life had I imagine that I'll be standing right in front of these color things, and to add more delight, we were even allowed to touch it - just touch and not take them off the rack - but it still a great pleasure for me. THEY ARE CIRQUE DU SOLEIL'S COSTUMES, for Pete's sake!

Every piece shows a very stunning design which gave me the impression that they really take time to create it.  According to Mr. Maxime, everything hear came from Montreal, where their official headquarter is located. But since, they can't afford to travel back and fort in case something happened on these costumes, they brought with them costumes artists who will take good care of these stuff.

Other materials needed for the artists' stunts are also placed near the head dresses boxes, and I saw some of it too! :-)

After that, Mr. Maxime led us to the rooms where the actual costumes and other things that the productions has brought in with them. Performing in different countries isn't that easy, according to him, but with proper organizing of things and people, Saltimbanco was able to take a tour around the world via two Boeing planes.

When we entered this room, we were welcomed by more colors and one of the backstage artists of Saltimbanco, Miss Rebecca.

Miss Rebecca is one of the artists assigned on retouching the costumes, including hats, shoes and leg and arm costumes. And that day, she showed us how she's doing it. Quite simple actually, but it still meticulous and looks so fun! She said she's actually enjoying it, and knowing how important her part to the group is, the push is there to be at her best on her job.

Their room was actually like a dresser's shop complete with sewing machines, cabinets, thousand kinds of buttons, laces, cloths and many more - all are full of life because of their colors, which is the main thing about Saltimbanco.

Mr. Maxime, on the other hand, also showed us the  makeup booklet of their performers. I thought before that they have makeup artists for their performers, but according to Mr. Maxime, each of the performing artist do their own makeup. Part of each performer's job is to learn their character's makeup, and back in Montreal, they underwent a makeup training for them to master their look before actually getting the job.

And guess what, since they do their own makeups, each of the performers has their own glam mirror too!

Mr. Maxime also showed them to us, and if I remember it right, there are about 30 to 50 mirrors there and each one has the artist's name on it. :-) This is as personal as it gets.

Our last stop for this backstage tour was the dressing room. Sorry, guys, the performers are all dressed up and all are onstage the time we got in here, so you won't see any of them here fitting their costumes. LOL.

Mr. Maxime showed us how they are keeping the costumes clean, dry and in good condition too. They brought in washing machines with them, which keeps the costumes all clean. They hire locals, if needed, to do the ironing of some of the costumes, and sometimes, they even have the Costume Department do some alterations to the costumes. He told us that every performer has two set of costumes. In case there's something happened, they still have an extra pair, but since Cirque Du Soleil company assures that all of their costumes are all good to go, breathable and mostly made of spandex, which are the best fabric for their costumes, most of these outfits last for years.

Until now, I can't believe that I've just been to the backstage of Cirque Du Soleil's Saltimbanco, which has shows here in Manila from August 9 to 19 only. It was an unbelievable experience for me!

Thank you, Mr. Maxime, for the tour and to the casts and crew of this wonderful show!
Thank you too to StratWorks, Hoopla Inc. and SM Mall of Asia Arena! This is one experience I will never ever forget, really!

For show schedules and other information, you can visit cirquedusoleil/saltimbanco or, or you may call (02) 320-1111. Hoopla Inc. is the official promoter of Cirque du Soleil in Manila.

Thank you again, guys!!!

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