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Alexander Yudintsev, 31, from Karaganda, an actor at Cirque du Soleil


On job

I was doing acrobatics for 13 years in Karaganda. In 2007 I was training and preparing to go to competitions, when recorded a video and sent it to Montreal. I didn’t tell anything to my coach and was really surprised to be invited to a three-month camp 5 days later. Passing three-month internship, I was offered to sign a contract.

Those three months were really hard as there was only one out of 6 to be chosen. We were training from 9 am to 6 pm, and had additional acting classes, which was new for me. Actors at Cirque du Soleil must juggle acting, acrobacy and dancing. That’s not easy, but I like it. You learn performance, all the program, all dances and how to make-up.

On work


There’re three different ways of work at the show: stationary, tent circus which gives a show for two or three months and a performance at big football or basketball pitches and arenas which move weekly.

Being offered a contract, I worked at the Corteo tent show for ten years. Then our show was modified and these days we perform at arenas. Each artist has solo and group performances. Initially, I performed on the board, and now I perform at the trampoline beds, as it’s necessary to develop and try different directions. I juggle sometimes.

There’re 51 artists and 102 people in general in Corteo

Now we have seven shows a week. On Sunday evening we have two shows, then the staff completely dismantles the arena, and we get on the bus and move to another city. On Mondays and Tuesdays we rest, on Wednesday we leave for work. So we work five days a week and have two shows at weekends.


I start my day with a warm-up and training. Then we prepare for the show, make-up and set up. As for me, I listen to the music, juggle, as it calms me down. Our team has a kind of meditation: we stand in a circle and pass our wands in silence, without moving for several minutes. Then we go and perform.

The circus provides us with food, accommodation; those working at the arena are paid tickets home or wherever they want to go every ten weeks.

You’ll never be fired if you work well, so very few people leave the Circus, only one person a year

I’ve learned a lot for ten years. There’re good opportunities for development here.

On the show production


Cirque du Soleil’s headquarters is in Montreal, there all shows are prepared. At the moment the Circus has 16 or 17 shows, one big show lasts for about 10-12 years, whereas one arena show lasts for 5-6 years. A new show is made once in a couple of years.

There’re several huge rooms in Montreal with all the equipment and all the producers, artists, choreographers, directors working. One show’s prepared for 6-9 months which is a laborious process requiring a lot of physical and emotional energy. First, separate performances are prepared, then they’re combined into one program and, finally, presented in Montreal.

On advantages and difficulties

We work a lot and must control ourselves, sleep well. You have to be focused and lucky to avoid injuries. We always travel, so it’s difficult to make a family.

Anyway, I'm used to such a way of life. We work for 10 weeks and rest for a couple of weeks. You can go wherever you want in the world. I’ve been to about 35 countries, 22 of them were visited due to work.

Working in the Circus gives an opportunity to meet many people

Today I have friends in almost every country. I’m fluent in English and Spanish, I guess I wouldn’t learn languages living in Karaganda.


On plans

My parents live in Karaganda, I love Kazakhstan. I like coming there, but I still haven’t decided where to live. I’m planning to work in the Circus or being a trainer, because I’ve learned a lot and can teach people.

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