Of the last four days, we've spent three of them at the chapiteau. One day, we went for last-minute tickets (available to family members only) and got four amazing seats, some of the best in the house. It is still a thrill for us to see the show from the audience - watching not only the routines, and the details surrounding each piece, but also to hear the gasps and cheers of the adoring audience. They have not had a show in Montreal yet - and they've done 90 of them - where there hasn't been a full standing ovation at the end.
Then, two of the days, we watched the show from backstage. Which is getting more comfortable and fun for us all the time. Here's a picture of the kids with Daddy on the Tapis Rouge, where we sit and watch the show. Baz is holding the "magic crystal" that Greg discovers in the show. It's supposed to be "the light that sparks human evolution on earth", and it's in the hands of my 7-year-old.
Notice the water bottles and cups hanging on the wall rack nearby. The charitable foundation started by Cirque du Soleil's CEO, One Drop, has as its mission to provide clean water to poor communities. Awareness of water usage is found throughout the tent. In the areas open to the public, you cannot buy bottled water - you must buy an aluminum Cirque du Soleil bottle. At $5.50, this can be upsetting at first, but you can refill the bottle for free, any time, with ice-cold filtered water.
This next photo is especially exciting - several of the Cirque staff have been informally teaching a kids' gymnastics class to the little ones on tour, once a week or so, and Baz, Ayla and Isa joined in this week. I hope it continues - it will be so good for all of them. The other kids in the show tend to have parents who are world-class acrobats, so the parents are motivated to get their kids some skills! ...that's Isa in the back being flipped around by Cirque's Head Coach, who, incidentally, destroyed me in Ladies' Boot Camp class this morning. These extra adult classes are so far populated by admin. staff, tech staff, and front-of-house staff - the artists themselves are too exhausted from their own performance and training schedules. But we seem to have a lot of other people on tour who are interested in teaching, and taking, everything from Boot Camp to yoga and pilates and "body-balancing". It's a wonderful perk for me to be able to join in these free sessions, and a great way to get to know people.
It might help motivate us that the show is full of people who look like this.