Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria began its two-week run in Halifax Wednesday night, which was also Zoe McLean’s first time performing in the world-renowned show.
“There’s a lot of training but it’s what we’re here to do,” McLean said while taking a break during an afternoon training session yesterday to prepare for last night's arena tour premiere. “I train like an hour and a half a day on the act and then I have other cues that involve just practising.”
Even though it’s her inaugural performance for Cirque du Soleil, McLean said she's “more excited than nervous.”
To prepare for the show she spends most of her time on trampolines and other equipment she uses without music or costumes.
McLean said she doesn’t mind training for hours each day because she’s been doing it for a while now.
Competing in gymnastics for Great Britain during much of her childhood, Cirque du Soleil is more about fun and performance than precision, she said.
“It’s about being upside down,” McLean said inside the Halifax Metro Centre. “And flying and doing other things people can’t, and just showing them that everything is possible.”
McLean is seen as two different characters in the show - first as a nymph, which are fairy-like and graceful, and then as a Bronx, which are members of a street gang.
Although she will be doing extreme gymnastic moves on what’s called a power track, she said it’s not the most difficult part of the show.
“I have four minutes to get out of one complete costume, get into another costume, do the make-up and go,” she explained.
The 55 artists for Alegria are a diverse group, with “at least one performer from every continent.”