Can you balance on your index fingers? Can you crawl under your own legs? Then you should have been at Bellagio’s O Theater last week when Cirque du Soleil conducted its latest round of auditions.
At stage right, a male gymnast whipped a three-foot metallic cube around his body. At stage left, a tall girl tossed a hula-hoop into the air and leapt through it as it fell to the ground. In the wings, a short girl pressed her torso against the wall, pulling back her head and her lower back.
At 12:15, talent scout Stacy Clark assembled the performers. She congratulated them for making it through Cirque’s pre-screening process. Then she got practical: “Wear your number bibs on your front so we can see them ... unless you do body-to-body contact, in which case we don’t want you putting a safety pin through your partner’s liver. We have performance medics on site, but we don’t want to use them.”
First up: a pair of jugglers who passed 10 clubs to Elvis’ “Rubberneckin’.” Though skilled, these two made a lot of drops. The last was especially awkward as the juggler on the left just couldn’t kick the club back up into the pattern. After multiple attempts, he slid it over to his partner.
Next, the contortionist took the stage, showing the flexibility of a Chinese acrobat and the strength of a Russian hand balancer. She’s a sure bet, I thought.
Soon a coed dance team whose flawless bodies reminded me of those “How to Have Better Sex” magazine ads. And they danced as well as they looked—better, maybe.
The father/son balancing act went next, son balancing on dad. They were great, too, but as the months go by, won’t the father lose muscle mass, while his son gains it? Where will their act be then? I bet Stacy Clark had the same thought.
If none of the 14 acts are selected, they could probably band together and put up their own show, but I’m confident many will be picked. And while it’d be great to see these talents in O, KÀ, Love or Mystère, I doubt I’d recognize them in makeup.