As the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil and other avant-garde performance troupes, each year Montreal draws thousands of talented performers who come to train and audition in the world capital of circus arts.
Even those who cannot quite
literally bend over backwards can get a
taste of circus life at the
city’s flying trapeze centre.
located in northeast Montreal, offers regular daily classes as well as private
lessons in the art of trapeze. Students, protected with a harness and safety
net, swing on a trapeze
bar from an elevated platform, with the ultimate goal of letting go and being
caught by another swinger. As students progress, instructors (who come from
gymnastic, diving and cheerleading backgrounds) teach more complicated tricks
that can be combined for a complex routine.
Reservations are required for
the one- to two-hour classes, held at 7 pm
Monday through Friday and 1 pm on Saturday and
Sunday. A group session, limited to 10 participants, costs $40 Canadian dollars per person while private instruction starts at $60 Canadian
dollars per hour. The Join the Circus package from the
Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel includes a private lesson at Trapezium, two sets
of trapeze-friendly sporting gear and a
for $720 Canadian dollars through October. Rather watch the circus from the
sidelines? Reserve tickets to free shows at La Tohu, the local
performing arts space next door to Cirque du Soleil’s headquarters, or mark the
calendar for next year’s Montreal
Complètement Cirque, the annual circus festival held in July.