Beautiful music, belly laugh comedy and mesmerizing acrobatics are just a part of the magic of Cirque du Soleil. In advance of the show ‘Corteo’ coming to The Moody Center early February, Austin Lifestyle caught up with Erin Cervantes, an aerialist who literally gets to swing from chandeliers every night, to learn more about the show and her inspiring journey to becoming part of it.
Yeah, how long have you been in Cirque du Soleil? Since the relaunch of ‘Corteo’ when it moved from the Big Top to the arena format in 2017.
What acts are you in? The chandelier is my main act, I also do the roue cyr, a giant metal wheel that spins on the ground and we make move with our bodies.
How old were you when you started doing this?
I was actually 30 when I went to the circus school for the first time, just for fun, as a different kind of workout. When I went, I hadn’t had much interest in being a dancer, but I realized I had a talent for it. I really didn't mind how difficult and painful it was because I loved it and found this passion for this new thing that I knew nothing about.
I was very grateful to find a good coach who owned the school. She performed with Cirque du Soleil many years before and found a handful of us that she thought had potential and pushed us really hard. I started making up acts and doing little showcases at the school for friends and family. Then one day I thought, why don’t I send my stuff to Cirque du Soleil and see what they say. They invited me to an audition and at the end it was me and three other girls who made it through. I was 33 at the time.
So it’s never too late to start…
If you're passionate enough, you can really do anything you want with your life, no matter your age, your journey or where you come from. I come from Iowa and knew nothing about the circus when I was a kid.
Do you ever get scared?
I don’t think I really get scared. I really enjoy the feeling of the wind in my hair and flying through the air. It’s something humans don’t often get to do and I get to do it, so I try to just enjoy the moment while I’m up there, while staying very focused.
What's your favorite thing about being in Cirque du Soleil?
Bringing this beautiful, incredible show to so many people night after night; to hear people’s laughter and gasps and children giggling and to see people so engaged in what’s happening and in the moment. It's nice to have thousands of people in an audience and 50 of us on stage and feel this connection between people you’ve never met before, in a country you've never been to, it’s quite incredible,
It really transcends language barrier.
Absolutely, especially this show. It’s a funeral for a clown, but it's really not about death, it's more about life. It's about celebrating each moment of this person's life. It’s a beautiful message for everybody to just enjoy life, enjoy moments and in the end, this is with matters, and love.
The show runs February 2-5. Tickets are available at cirquedusoleil.com/corteo.