revisiting Edinburgh

I made the tourist pilgrimage to FRINGE and the Tattoo in 2009.

Since my flight was out of the Edinburgh airport, I booked one night to once again shuffle crowded streets filled with revellers. Edinburgh is crazy fun in August.

One night was enough.

Last time I enjoyed the free street performers more than the free indoor events. Or even the paid shows.

3D video projection – Monte Carlo, Vegas

On April 10, 2012, did a really cool 3D projection mapping on the Monte Carlo, in Vegas, baby, for the Board of Directors of MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL….

8 walls in sync, including the ceiling. All Christie 18K HD projectors. 7.2 audio system. …

We’re done stuff for Sony Pictures, Cirque du Soleil, Ritz-Carlton, and lots more. …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

turning Japanese

The World Gymnastics Championships have ended. After 14 intense, emotional days … what next?

I’m staying on in Tokyo, hanging out with Marceline Goldstein from Montreal. I’ll be assisting her with a Cirque du Soleil audition. And then a second audition in Osaka.

From there … I have a 21-day all-you-can travel rail pass. It will be like the old Eurorail travels of my distant past. I’ll be hiking everywhere the train will take me, happy to be part of the revitalization of the Japanese tourist industry.

Following that, I’m fairly decided to go over to Hong Kong for a week or so. Hiking — and taking in a big domestic Chinese gymnastics competition. Coach Jun Chen has invited me.

And back to chilly North America Nov. 22nd.

traveling Japan in October

Last week I picked up my 3 week Japan Rail Pass. I’m locked and loaded. My Funemployment continues.

Sunday (today) – depart for Seattle
… hike & bike with Doug Davis out of Port Townsend

Thursday – depart Seattle for Tokyo
… Jr International in Yokohama
… World Gymnastics Championships
… assist with 2 Cirque du Soleil auditions
… travel Japan

Nov. 22nd fly back to Seattle
Christmas in Parksville, B.C. with my folks

My main concern, I’m allergic to smokers.

Cirque du Soleil OVO – my review

I saw the Calgary Premiere last week. Highly recommended. Everyone I spoke with liked it.

My review on Gymnastics Coaching:

… I was going to write a review … but Heath McCoy in the Calgary Herald pretty much nailed it:

… as in most Cirque shows, the storytelling plays a distant second to the spectacle, and, happily, the latter aspect of OVO is grand.

The staging, with its vibrant ecosystem, complete with giant-sized webs, cocoons and a monolithic egg (a thematic symbol of the bugs’ life cycle, ovo means egg in Portuguese) is spectacular.

The dazzling costumes — an inspired hybrid of superhero spandex and historical suits of armour — are suitably outlandish.

And the stunts — played out to the Brazilian electro-pop sounds of a cockroach band, which run the gamut between romantic and sizzling — are nothing short of stunning. …

Magnifique! Cirque du Soleil’s OVO must be seen to be believed

Click PLAY or watch the Calgary preview on YouTube.


Overall … the highlight of this show are the costumes. (That caterpillar is enough to give you nightmares.)

The weakest element, as usual, are the clowns. … Though I somewhat liked Flippo. He grew on me as the show progressed.

I’m flying to Tokyo on Sept. 22nd, hoping to see the Cirque show there called ZED. I’m assisting at Cirque auditions in Tokyo Oct. 18th and 22nd.

Cirque du Soleil TOTEM – my review

Before seeing the new show, now playing in Amsterdam, I knew I’d love it.

At least 20 friends from Cirque told me I would, and they tend to be very critical of their own product.

TOTEM is great. Weird, but great.

Normally I go to see the acrobatics. The more flips and twists, the better.

This show does not have as much acrobatics as usual. But I still loved it. Our group, mostly women’s judges from World Championships, enjoyed a backstage tour.

Themes: evolution, physics, indigenous peoples … Totem has plenty of monkeys. … I assume that’s Darwin juggling flourescent balls in the big plexiglass cone. (Why didn’t I think of that act! I’d be rich.)

The hoop dancer, Nakotah LaRance, is fantastic. He does a traditional act straight up. It’s awesome.

In another act, First Nations peoples are on roller skates! … And it’s intensely sensual. Only Cirque would conceive something like this.

Sometimes the shocking costumes are a distraction. But they really work well in this show.

Not shown there is the best of all, the Crystal Man, a human disco ball. That suit has 4,500 mirrors, costing $15,000. And they have 3 back stage!

The music is wonderful: Bollywood, First Nations drumming, ambient, world beat, didgeridoo, throat singing, even flamenco.

As in all the new shows, the computerized lighting effects are critical. Click PLAY to watch a feature on how they were created.

Robert Lepage created this show, a mad genius. I never attempt to decipher the plot lines of Cirque shows. Better to let it wash over you.

Click PLAY or watch Lepage on YouTube.

Last shout out. Everyone loves one comic character, an oddball Italian tourist. (Or something.) That guy is hilarious, perhaps my favourite Cirque clown yet.

If you get the chance, see it. TOTEM is an astonishingly mature show for one so new. I doubt they’ll tinker with it much. It works.

Disclosure: Cirque du Soleil paid for my ticket. But I rave about their shows even when I’m buying. The disclosure is that I love CdS. I’m a bloody fan boy. You can’t trust my opinion.

BIG performance art media event Friday

I posted the details on my Gymnastics Blog:

Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté is orbiting the Earth. He spent $35-million to become only the 7th “tourist” to leave the planet. …

His space trip is part of a huge campaign to raise awareness of the need to provide clean water to everyone in the world.

The main event is happening this Friday though the specific details are not yet revealed. You can get some hints on what to expect from the website. …

details – why is Guy Laliberté in space?

[picapp src=”7/1/8/6/Soyuz_TMA16_spacecraft_1a53.JPG?adImageId=4760197&imageId=6732852″ width=”500″ height=”335″ /]
Astronaut tourist Guy Laliberte – The Right Stuff

My personal favourite charity causes are Clean Water and Education of Girls and Women in the developing world. So I’ll be all over this latest stunt from Cirque.