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Behind the Scenes at Cirque du Soleil

Meet Lucas Coelho Costa

Cirque du Soleil’s 20th Big Top show brings bold new visuals and a unique aesthetic on tour. Packed with vibrant characters, inspiring music, astounding lights and projections, and never-before-seen acrobatic feats, ECHO invites audiences on a journey through a universe of color, wonder, and infinite possibilities.

How do the performers do it?

Sue G. Collins: On the day of a performance, what does your day look like?

Lucas Coelho Costa: I try to sleep 9 hours every night, but it’s difficult – usually, I sleep between 7 and 9 hours. I make sure I wake up with a good amount of coffee and protein. Afterwards, I come to work on my bike, riding around looking at the beautiful trees and getting a dose of nature in. As an artist coach, I spend some time training my fellow artists, which means I have to be here early. Normally I coach around 3-4 sessions a day of strength conditioning. I then make time to eat between training and staging for my number. I am a pole artist and the backup cartographer, so I do bungee straps as well. Two hours before the show, I start my make-up, which gives me time to warm up between make-up and the show. I take 15-30 minutes to warm up – doing some stretching and some exercises that activate the muscles that I am going to use. I also try to think of injury-prevention exercises. Throughout the day, since I’m a vegetarian, I pay special attention to getting protein-rich foods in my diet – lots of eggs and tofu! After the show, I take 10-15 minutes to stretch and cool down before I leave work and get back on my bike! When I get home, I try to eat another meal – since our schedule is really packed, I try to make it quick – bread and eggs usually!

SGC: Have you been able to explore Atlanta?  

LCC: I’ve been to the BeltLine, which is a cool place to ride my bike and find good coffee. We don’t get a lot of time off, but I try to make time to explore every city we visit. I also really love the street art here, so taking walks around is always fun. There’s always something new to look at!

SGC: What inspires you to perform with Cirque?

LCC: It’s been a dream since I watched my first Cirque show – it was Corteo on DVD. My aunt gave it to me and I watched it at least 20 times. It really made me dream about being one of the acrobats on stage. I started gymnastics when I was 7, and eventually transitioned to acrobatics. At that point, I got in touch with a friend of mine who connected me to casting. I sent in tapes for high barre, one of the disciplines I’m trained in, and I got cast a few days later!

SGC: What are a few songs you listen to when you're working out that get you going?

LCC: I really like Rufus du Sol, he’s great to work out to, or any songs that have a good beat, like EDM and techno. Sometimes I switch it up and listen to jazz rap, it gives me a chiller vibe.

Cirque du Soleil is at Atlantic Station through January 21. CirqueduSoleil.com/usa/atlanta/shows

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