The Cirque du Soleil has been pushing the boundaries of its artists’ physical limits as well as its audiences’ imaginations for 29 years.
The current production of “Amaluna” playing at Atlantic Station through Nov 30 delivers its special magic through a mix of vibrant lighting, color, music, costumes and the astounding performances of its artists who include NCAA gymnasts, aerial acrobats, a contortionist, a juggler and an all-girl band led by a singer who also plays an electronic bass and a saxophone.
While Amaluna diverges from past productions in that 70 percent of the cast is female, the current production retains its magical flair and performances receive standing ovations.
Some of that magic rubbed off on Montiek Guise, who came to Atlanta from Louisiana in search of a job, which she got as an usher for Amaluna through Adecco USA, the U.S. branch of Adecco S.A., a Swiss company in more than 60 countries and territories that has had a long-term relationship with Cirque du Soleil.
Ms. Guise is one of the 120 or so locals who have been hired to fill a wide variety of positions from hosting “The Tapis Rouge” VIP reception area, ushering such as Ms. Guise is doing, providing security, to selling Cirque merchandise and otherwise complementing the 114 people traveling with the show.
Beth Herman, Adecco’s regional vice president based in Atlanta, told Global Atlanta that the company finds and trains personnel for the available positions weeks before a Cirque du Soleil performance arrives.
Over the years there are some people who enjoy these temporary positions so much that they become “Cirquadors,” and reapply when a new performance comes to town, she said. Others may sign on as “followers” and accompany the performance to other cities though they remain independent contractors.
The origins of the Cirque du Soleil are traced to street theater in Montreal. But now that it is such a global phenomenon with 19 shows taking place around the world, the company finds artists through an extensive network of fellow performers, scouts, social media and plain word of mouth.
Then there is the case of Daniel Medina. Originally from Mexico, he started looking for a job when he arrived in Montreal and saw an opening advertised in a newspaper for an usher. After working with the show Kooza, he was promoted to the rank of “follower,” and has been with Amaluna as a permanent member of staff.
Now he is one of the “main house supervisors” with responsibility for many of the customer service requirements of a show. He is to stay with Amaluna on its tour through the United States and in the spring of 2015 will accompany it to Europe.
“I get to travel around the world,” he said. “I have made friends all over the world and that’s why I love this job.”