The audience won't be the only ones in awe at performances of Cirque du Soleil Presents Amaluna. According to performer Andreanne Nadeau, when they aren't onstage, the other members of the circus acts stand in the wings in wonder. "I watch the show and say, 'Wow, that's so amazing!' There are so many things that I could never do." This coming from one of the show's aerialists, who spends her time in the show suspended high over the stage.
Nadeau appears as the Moon Goddess in Amaluna, one of several goddesses who are passing along their strength and knowledge to Miranda, the queen's daughter. (Shakespeare's The Tempest served as inspiration for Amaluna.)
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Nadeau was 25 when she was accepted to circus school, a bit old to begin a career as a circus performer, but she had an extensive background in sports and dance and so she was able to make the transition easily.
As with the other performers in this mostly-female show, the challenge for Nadeau is to be feminine, strong, theatrical and safe all at the same time. While she works with no safety wires, Nadeau doesn't consider herself a daredevil. "We're not going out there to defy death; that's not the point of the show. For me to be up in the air, that's just another dimension to performance. I'm a dancer and I used to dance just on the floor; now I dance in the air as well. It's the perfect combination for me of the things that I love."
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Nadeau's family encouraged her career choice, although, she admits, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Her father was very supportive. "He took me to all my classes and competitions when I was a kid. I think he sees that his time and money was well spent because I'm able to make a living at it.
Her mother was a little slower to embrace the idea of Nadeau performing high above the stage. "My mom wasn't as enthusiastic because I'm up in the air with nothing holding me, but now that she's seen the act and knows the company that I'm working for, she's able to sit back and enjoy it."
See Amaluna at 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 4:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 1:30 and 5 p.m. Sundays. Through March 8. Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway. For information, visit cirquedusoleil.com. $35 to $495.