Cirque du Soleil gets set for Hawaii debut - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Cirque du Soleil gets set for Hawaii debut

Ruslana & Taisiya Bazaliy Ruslana & Taisiya Bazaliy
Michael Ocampo Michael Ocampo

By Leland Kim - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) -  It's entertained close to 80 million people in more than 200 cities all over the world.  Now after 24 years, Cirque du Soleil finally makes its way to our shores.  And this is not only a first, but a homecoming.

It took several years to bring the show to the Neal Blaisdell Arena.  But decades before this, Hawaii's natural beauty gave birth to the heart and soul of Cirque du Soleil.

Ruslana and Taisiya Bazaliy get ready for their high-flying Hawaiian debut.  The 22-year-old Ukranian twins and a talented team of performers headline Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco show.

They've been performing together for seven years, without a net.

"It takes a lot of training and classes and it's not only training, even when you start trapeze, time to transform your body to do something else," said Ruslana Bazaliy.

"Even your mind because it was pretty scary in the beginning," added her sister Taisiya.

The Bazaliy twins started out in gymnastics together, so they've practically been joined at the hip since birth.

It's much easier than working with someone else because you can be more open," said Ruslana Bazaliy. "You can scream at her and she'll not get pissed."

Most performers have at least ten years of experience before joining the show, so to be able to do this, requires a ton of dedication.

"So they come from gymnastics, trampoline, tumbling, sports acrobatics," said Michael Ocampo, Saltimbanco's head coach. "Some of them come from circus schools so most of them have already been on their national team from whatever country they're from competing at world championships."

Cirque du Soleil was born in 1984, shortly after its founder Guy Laliberte spent time in Hawaii.  The beauty of the Hawaiian sun inspired him to create a show just as magical.

"This is where Guy was inspired and received those thoughts, okay, watching these sunrises and sunsets, wanted to make a show as great and as impressive as that sort of thing that comes out of nature," said Ocampo. "To be here and try to present something that can be as a sunrise or a sunset in Hawaii, that's a big task to fill."

It's a challenge these performers are up for.

"It's going to have a really nice time, a party kind of a style to it," said Ruslana Bazaliy.  "It's going to be happy. Lots of colors. Rock and roll music. It's just going to be a fun time."

"For sure it's going to be a happy experience," added Taisiya Bazaliy, "It's going to be a colorful show, enjoyable show, lots of nice tricks.  For sure, people are going to be amused. For sure, and maybe scream a little."

Cirque du Soleil means "circus of the sun" in French, and this circus finally comes home to the place that inspired it.

The show debuts Thursday evening, and runs until November 16th.  Seats are available and tickets can be purchased through the Cirque du Soleil Web site or by clicking here.

Saltimbanco is one of 17 Cirque du Soleil shows currently performing throughout the world.

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