16 APRIL 4, 2003
www.houston voice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Gay trapeze artist flies with Cirque du Soleil
ALEGRIA, continued from Page 15
spectacle, the circus's public relations
firm here in Houston arranged an interview for me with Gaston Elie, an openly
gay trapeze artist with this elite circus.
Reggie Lyons, the company's traveling
publicist of four-and-a-half years, escorted me through the ultra-modern circus
camp to the multi-national kitchen for the
meeting. Elie, a third generation trapezist
from Argentina, arrived in great spirits,
and I soon learned about his career and
the art of trapeze.
Beginning at the age of 8, Elie performed
with several circuses worldwide before realizing his'dream: to perform with Cirque,du
Soleil. At the age of 29 and now in the prime
of his performing life, Elie displayed the
congenial professionalism of an artist at
ft MORE INFO
Through April 13
8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays
5 and 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays
1 and 5 p.m. Sundays
Cirque du Soleil
1001 Convention Center Blvd.
ease with himself and with success.
I asked him what physically and mentally was important to be one of the best
on the trapeze, and fortunately, he replied
in one of the four languages he speaks
that I can understand.
"Your wrists and stomach muscles must
be especially strong," Elie explained. "We
perform 10 shows a week and two rehearsals,
so you have to have that strength. Mentally
you are two people: First, you're thinking
about executing the trick well with your
partner, and second, you must perform for
the audience. If a mistake is made, sometimes that is the harder of the two."
Regarding his performance that night, I
asked Elie which part was the most difficult.
"First, our act in 'Alegria' is intentionally choreographed to get the audience to
swing with us," he said. "We want to see
members in the audience rock back and
forth in their chairs. The most difficult
part is the finale, because we are tired to
begin with and it has several difficult
moves to create excitement."
Since Elie's performance occurred at
the beginning of the production, I asked
him if he is involved any more with the
"Oh, yes. All of the artists play several
roles and duties after their moment in the
spotlight," Elie said. "I assist with the
placing of hoops and helping out with
other acts as well."
Finally, since it was close to midnight
by now, I asked Elie about his career and
"I was performing with my family in
Argentina when I saw a Cirque du Soleil
performance in Montreal in 1992," he
recalled. "The new techniques I saw
inspired me to work towards joining this
circus. It was very hard and expensive. I
had to move to Montreal to study with the
Gaston Elie, a gay trapeze artist who performs in
'Alegria,' said that working with Cirque du Soleil
has been a lifetime dream.
best trapeze coach in the world, in my
opinion. My parents are very, very proud
of me and have supported me all the way
"And, by the way, American audiences
are the best," Elie said. "Please encourage
your readers to come to Alegria,' Cirque
You heard the artist. Do everything
possible to see this marvelous production.
Wli^Remier Cor Care Center
Preserving Our Environment
B) rcelaiMng M nxyding our %nath mma
through our st»_-o«-the art water rerycling iyuan
««>* mm t» me agnmcmmy Hm water than
you'd ise to wadi your car at hone SetydedtMter
f your car's exterior
JS* Great Car Wash,
£2_* Great Service,
8efor . any wastewater is discharged me remove oil.
diet, and dtmigcnti, And. we never reteaw.
wattewatoirtoaann drams, xurfacxwairn. or o^
flfwgrorund- Were your neighbors, and thti it our
htmmtoot We've doing our part to keep our
ennroranent dean for generations to ■
2 fltodo South SpK s Uquw Utcaehouse
715 5*3 5SB3
SS! S94 1 __*