Behind the Scenes

Cirque du Soleil AXEL

Emily Gill
February 13, 2020 - 4:11 pm
Backstage at AXEL

Emily Gill


Cirque du Soleil AXEL is in town, and 106.3 WORD went behind the scenes.

Acrobatics and skating combine in the Cirque's act; today the performers were testing their equipment and warming up before the show.

Bungee Acrobats Rehearse
Emily Gill

While strapped into their bungee harnesses, the performers still wear their ice skates, as the crew works to make sure other equipment does not get in the way.

Bungee Acrobats Rehearse
Emily Gill

The show is on the Swamp Rabbit ice, but it has been covered with several more layers to create a thicker layer for the ice skaters, both because of the divots caused by figure skating and to cover the paint of the Swamp Rabbit arena.

Julie Desmarais, the senior publicist on tour with the show, explained they put in requests about the ice before they arrive.

Backstage everything has its place.

Boxes and shelves line the hall, storing equipment, shoes, headdresses, wigs, and more.

Emily Gill

Multiple performers play AXEL's two main characters, trading out with the different sections of the show.

In other words, a bungee performer will play Axel in one scene and an ice skater will play him in the next scene.

As such, multiple costumes and pieces must be made for each performer.

For example, the multiple performers playing Lei all have their own Lei wig.

Lei Wigs
Emily Gill

The wardrobe crew is constantly busy, making repairs and necessary changes to costumes, Demarais said.

Emily Gill

Everyday clothes have significant wear-and-tear, much more so for an acrobatic show in ice.

Crates of extra fabric are brought on tour to help with alterations.

Costume Alterations
Emily Gill

Cirque du Soleil AXEL is at the Bon Secour Wellness Arena from Feb. 13 - 16.

Emily Gill
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