Cirque du Soleil – Saltimbanco

Vector Arena, Parnell, Auckland

25/08/2011 - 04/09/2011

Production Details

Saltimbanco, from the Italian “saltare in banco” which literally means to jump on a bench, is a thrilling, kaleidoscopic celebration of awe-inspiring artistry and agility and will be the fourth Cirque du Soleil show to visit New Zealand.

Saltimbanco will be presented in theatre mode at Vector Arena with the same energetic and vibrant performance audiences have previously experienced under the Big Top. Originally directed by Franco Dragone, the show features an international cast of over 50 performers and musicians from more than 20 different countries.

Set inside an imaginary metropolis of colourful inhabitants, Saltimbanco features breathtaking acrobatics and unbelievable athleticism during solo spotlights and epic ensembles. Decidedly baroque in its visual vocabulary, the show’s eclectic cast of characters draws spectators into a fanciful, dreamlike world, an imaginary city where diversity is a cause for hope. Technical expertise and extravagant design are woven together with spectacular costumes, amazing lighting, humour, and enchanting live music. Overflowing with colour, amusement and amazement, Saltimbanco is a fun show for the whole family to enjoy.

To read a feature on Saltimbanco in the NZ Herald, July 22, go here.


As one of the best-loved acts in the world, Cirque du Soleil offers a fantastic opportunity for your next corporate hospitality outing. But don’t worry if you’re attending with a smaller group; our exclusive Green Room Lounge will also be in operation for selected weekend shows.

To enquire about availability of all our V.I.P. hospitality packages, please contact Phieng Phongsa on 09-358-1250 ext. 3, or by email on To read more about them, please click here.

Cirque du Soleil – Saltimbanco
Vector Arena, Auckland
25 August – 4 September
To view event dates and times visit or click here.

PLEASE NOTE – There is a strict NO CAMERA policy for all Saltimbanco shows.  In the interest of artist and performer safety, no cameras (still or recording) will be permitted into the venue.  This is at the request of the Cirque du Soliel Management.  

Unparalleled production values

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 26th Aug 2011

Between us, my date and I had seen many Cirque du Soleil shows, both here and abroad. We both agree that Saltimbanco,with its joyful gibberish language and enchanting world of mime and movement, is the most accessible, uplifting and happiest of them all. Vivid, colourful and bright – in terms of set, lighting and costume design – it is every bit the ‘celebration of artistry’ its creators describe it as, and is a perfect antidote for the chills of winter.

Although the hash fluorescents and detached atmosphere of the Vector Arena’s foyers is a far cry from the magic of The Grand Chapiteau – once seated, the familiar pre-show clowning and hilarious mischievous crowd-interface brings us happily back into a Cirque state of mind.

More than other Cirque shows I’ve seen, Saltimbanco’s impressive, partly angled set design, showcases the live band – the engine room of all Cirque’s shows – upstage and centre. Deservedly so – band leader Eric Alain’s small but perfectly formed musical unit drive the night, infusing funky grooves, fat guitar riffs (Adrian Andres), lots of unashamed glam rock and soaring synthesizers (very indicative of the 90s, when Saltimbanco was first devised) and some deliciously free-form jazz-saxophone (Philippe Poirier). Songbirds Nicola Dawn and Charlie Jones add their own expressive magic throughout the night.

Saltimbanco’s castis huge, and the show’s directors create a very inclusive, warm vibe, by using the large troupe on the peripheries of each main event, or circus routine.

During the beautifully lit, graceful opening Adagio, the house troupe slide and glide like lizards, round the sides of the stage. They are also often there for support and safety – the intensity and concentration of their role, a remarkable feat of trust and split second synchronization. No more so than when members of the house troupe climb the dizzy heights of the central rig, for the climatic breath-taking Bungee performance. During the equally magnificent opening act, Chinese Poles, it’s clear every person on stage is very much in the moment, ready to support and commit on cue.

Saltimbanco’s clown Eddie, the masterful Martin Poles, infuses his cartoon-like sound effects, mime and interactive humour throughout the night, generously making stars out of all the audience members he enlists to assist. As the larger-than-life Ringmaster, James Clowney (aptly named) and the elusive Dreamer Daniel Buckland, add their own brand of well-timed humour.

From BMX-ers to lycra-clad speedsters, cyclists will be amazed by the agility and balance of Ivan Do-Duc during Artistic Bicycle; just as gymnasts and thrill seekers will be by the flight and elevation of the house troupe during the Russian Swing routine, or the strength and artistic fusion of Julia and Gabriele Janke in Trapeze. The captivating rhythms of the twirling Boleadoras (simple percussive instruments invented in Argentina) provide a novel toe-tapping finale to the first half. More established circus acts, such as juggling, balancing on canes and contortion, are also on Saltimbanco’s menu.

Once again, Cirque du Soleil’s world-renowned sense of scale, unparalleled production values and microscopic attention to creative detail and flow, have come to life through Saltimbanco to inspire and artistically enrich the audience’s lives.  
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Super circus … where the incredible is normal

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 26th Aug 2011

Ignore the big-top snobs, swapping the tent for a stadium is a step up 

At the heart of the circus is a hymn to human potential. While most of us are likely to feel we are pushing our limits by negotiating the steps to the upper levels of the Vector Arena, it is inspiring to see how the disciplined cultivation of strength, agility and concentration enables acrobats to radically extend the boundaries of human mobility and laugh in the face of danger.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Saltimbanco’s duo trapeze act that delivers the exhilarating thrill of death defying bravado. At one point the seemingly impossible interlocking of feet was the only thing preventing one of the performers from plummeting to ground. [More
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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