During the summer of 2017, Cirque du Soleil welcomed dance experts Sylvain and Esther to its residency program. They directed twelve acrobats for the preparation of performance program with the help of Alexei Karulin, acrobatic coach. 

Aerial acrobatics and other disciplines are mixed together easily through the universe of dance and banquine. The goal was for dance experts to create horizontality in a discipline that is typically vertical, like banquine. The two choreographers did not have any precise plan at the beginning of this residency, but our artists were open to ideas. The result is an acrobatic number that is funny and strange but most of all impressive. Throwing and catching artists at arm’s length has never seemed so easy. This creation is not the result of pure hazard. During the residency, Esther and Sylvain had the artists exchange roles, fliers became bases, and vice-versa. To see the outcome, check out the video below.  

The creative process for this choreography had to be open and inclusive in order to give some space to the artists to allow for spontaneity. And with spontaneity comes surprises! Surprises offer the opportunity to get better and push limits. 

Contagious enthusiasm was palpable during the final performance on August 25, 2017. 

Learn more about Sylvain and Esther  

Sylvain Lafortune 

Sylvain Lafortune 
@École de danse contemporaine de Montréal
Sylvain Lafortune
@École de danse contemporaine de Montréal

A great lover of the arts and dance, Sylvain has pursued a career as a dancer since 1979 that gives him the chance to travel the world. Classical, modern and contemporary dance, Sylvain is a highly versatile artist. He had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the industry such as The Great Canadian Ballets, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Susan Marshall & Co., O Vertigo and Montreal Dance. 

Many consider Sylvain to be an excellent partner. His interest in partner dance led him to pursue graduate studies at the Université du Québec à Montréal. His research at the master’s level (The classification of lifts in dance) and at the doctoral level (The learning process of expert dancers studying partner dance) complete and deepen his practical and theoretical understanding of dancing with a partner. 

Esther Rousseau-Morin 

Esther Rousseau-Morin 
@École de danse contemporaine de Montréal
Esther Rousseau-Morin
@École de danse contemporaine de Montréal

A graduate of the l’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, Esther Rousseau-Morin has collaborated with several well-known dancers including Séverine Lombardo, Dany Desjardins and Jacques Poulin-Denis, to name just a few. Passionate and talented, Esther has participated in a number of advanced training courses for her art such as Transformation Danse and the Bates Dance Festival. In 2012, during a stay in Vienna as part of an internship for ImPuls Tanz, she received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. Openminded and eager to share her knowledge, Esther acts as an assistant in Sylvain Lafortune’s partner classes. 

After having graduated in 2007 to the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, Esther Rousseau-Morin has subsequently collaborated with several choreographers, including Séverine Lombardo, Dany Desjardins and Jacques Poulin-Denis, just to name a few. 

A true authority in this domain, Sylvain today shares his knowledge in the classes, workshops and conferences he offers. He recently worked on the creation of Cirque Monti’s new show with Marie-Josée Gaultier. 

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