This past weekend, my favorite guest blogger, Lindsay Berra, was in Vegas for U.S. wrestling nationals. (Anything to get ya to Sin City, right?) In her downtime, she stopped by Love, the newest Cirque du Soleil show, which is playing at The Mirage. The show blends two things I absolutely heart: The Beatles and circus performers. It was my semi-secret dream to quit life and join Cirque du Soleil when I first moved to NY. (Let’s be honest: It still is.) But Lindsay found out something that makes me wish I were in Vegas this weekend for Supercross finals even more than I already do: The show features a third thing I heart—action sports.
Check out Lindsay’s espnthemag.com blog here, or click below to read a more detailed account of her night with Cirque’s newest stars: Inline skaters.
While in Las Vegas over the weekend for the U.S. Wrestling National Championships, I dropped by Cirque du Soleil’s Love at the Mirage. Since inline skating was cut from the X Games in 2005, vert skaters Cesar Andrade and Marco de Santi have been making their living as skaters in the show. Cirque first held auditions in Adrade and de Santi’s native Brazil in 1997, then again in 2000. “They said, probably in five years, we’ll call you guys,” de Santi says. “And in 2005, they called.” Love, set to the music of The Beatles, is the first Cirque show to feature in-line skaters. Clad in black-and-white referee stripes and feathered boots, Andrade, de Santi and two other skaters work back-to-back quarter pipes to the sounds of Help! Their skill is obvious; the ramp is 11-feet high, but just six-feet wide. Only the world’s best inline skaters could navigate a ramp so narrow, and even so, accidents still happen. During the 7 PM show on Saturday night, Andrade fell and hit his side against the edge of the ramp. He watched the 10 PM show from the stands. “Fabiola da Sivla, Taig Kris, the Yasutoko brothers, they are making their living in other ways,” Andrade says, running through a list of who’s who in the world of inline skating. “Besides them, not a lot of people could come here and do what we do.” And it’s not just skating. Under their photos in Love’s program, “acrobat” is also listed. In two shows a day, 10 shows a week and 40 shows a month, de Santi and Andrade perform stunts on the trampoline, free run and bungee across the stage on latex cords suspended from the ceiling. “I came to Cirque because everything with in-line was falling apart,” de Santi says. “I was looking for a chance to do something different, break my shyness and be an artist.” Now, other acrobats are incorporating grabs the skaters do in the quarter pipe into their routines on the trampoline. “Revolutionary,” Andrade says. “Like The Beatles.”