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CIRCUS — Big-Time Air 

click to enlarge Cirque du Soleil’s new show features 52 performers.
  • Cirque du Soleil’s new show features 52 performers.

Here’s what you’ll see next week at the Spokane Arena: acrobats, aerialists, world-class rope skippers and plenty of other people twirling, flipping and essentially risking their lives for the sake of art. This is Cirque du Soleil’s new production, Quidam, but the group doesn’t necessarily think it’s a circus, even if it really sounds like one.

“It’s not quite a circus, it’s not quite a Broadway show, it’s not a theater piece, it’s not a light concert. It’s kind of a genre of its own,” says Cirque du Soleil spokesperson Jessica Lebeouf.

Quidam follows the emotional story of Zoe, a bored little girl unhappy with her distant parents when a stranger comes into her life and opens up a door to her imagination. She meets the eccentric characters of the Quidam world as they guide her to find herself and reconnect with her parents.

Lebeouf draws a comparison to Alice in Wonderland: a kid’s story with a more intense twist. With 52 performers from 18 countries, the Quidam cast includes veteran circus performers and former Olympians, all rolled together with 2,500 handmade costumes and shoes that must be repainted before every show.

“We do have a story line and there are some messages, but they are not force-fed to the audience,” says Lebeouf. “Three people coming in the same group will have watched the same show, and coming out will have their own interpretation.”

High-flying yet highly calculated aerial acts and floor work, singers, dancers — any type of awe-inspiring entertainment is here, and each performer is an artist in his or her own right.

Says Lebeouf: “For two hours, they’re transported to a completely different world, forget all their worries and we are there to bring them into a crazy journey they’ll never forget.”

Cirque du Soleil Presents Quidam • Wed-Sun, Sept. 12-16 • Spokane Arena • 720 W. Mallon Ave. • $35-$90 •

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