Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2009 – a review

It was great.

The setting cannot be beat, outdoor on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. Images are projected on the castle ramparts. Wonderful.

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Over 217,000 people see it each year. About half get rained upon, I reckon. Luckily it stayed dry for my show on the last night of 2009.

I loved the flyby salute by jets. And the fireworks.

This year the the Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps stole the show as they did, I assume, in 2003 and 2006.

I doubt you could find anyone who left the show unhappy. It’s more poignant right now because U.K. soldiers are dying in Afghanistan. Mothers and Grandmothers were protesting on the High Street during the festival.

All that said … in my opinion the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo was better. More variety. More humour. Better.

Edinburgh needs to hire a consultant from Cirque du Soleil. Their show easily be improved. … On the other hand, it’s been sold out for the past 10yrs.

loving the Calgary Airport

For a city of 1 million, Calgary truly has one of the best airports in the world.

Flying on a Wednesday I had no long line-ups at any of the usual bottlenecks.

The self-service check-in kiosk for United Airlines worked. (You need a zip code and hotel name destination to do it on your own.)

The U.S. border was friendly and efficient.

Security check brisk.

Two Tim Hortons greet you in the departure concourse.

It’s easy to find an electrical outlet for your laptop. And — best of all — there’s 2hrs free WiFi.

You still much flip through some log-in pages. But it’s easy to use your Facebook credentials to speed that process.

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I’m flying to Lincoln, Nebraska for the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships.

Dana back in Gymnastics

My long time friend Dana Brass got married. Had a puppy. And a baby. Went on American Maternity (3 months). Then decided to leave her full-time job as a senior Cirque du Soleil casting scout to be a MOM.

Next decision in this long chain of life events?

She went home to Saskatchewan to coach at her old gymnastics club for a few months.

Coaching is a holiday, after all.

Welcome back Dana!
Welcome back Dana!

World’s Smallest Body Builder in Vegas

From my Gymnastics blog:

Aditya ‘Romeo’ Dev’s 2 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs less than 20 pounds. …

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Born in India, Romeo’s now wearing bling and checking out the celebrity life in America. He was signed by a US talent agent.

In this (foreign language) BBC documentary clip he auditions for Cirque du Soleil’s Krista Monson at the set of Mystère in Vegas starting at 2min 12sec.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

In summer of 2008, Aditya was diagnosed with aneurysms which, if left untreated, are a serious threat to his life. Aneurysms and Moyamoya are common symptoms of the syndrome MOPD II, which is the cause of Aditya’s small stature.

I was the first to send Cirque information about Romeo.

Looks like he may end up in Hollywood rather than the Circus.

Cirque – Laliberté still captain of the … boat

Dubai buys 20% of Cirque du Soleil …

… The street-performer-turned-billionaire, born in Quebec City, insists he is having too much fun to give it up, as he tries to douse speculation that the Dubai government’s purchase of a 20-per-cent stake in his Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil is the precursor to a takeover.

Mr. Laliberté, 48, says the investment by two Dubai entities — a private equity division and the real estate arm of the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund — will fortify his company’s independence in the years to come.

“Not only is Cirque not for sale, but thanks to this strategic partnership, the organization is stronger than ever,” he said from Japan yesterday on a conference call with reporters following the announcement of the deal.

“Cirque is not sold, and I’m still the captain of the boat,” he said. …

From Quebec’s streets to Dubai – Report on Business

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Cirque is opening 3 shows in the next 5wks.