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Circus performer fulfills life-long dream

Photo courtesy of soloman krueger
"Cirque Eloize" - Combining acrobatics, clowns and 700 gallons of water, Cirque Eloize's "Rain" should be quite the spectacle. These Canadian circuses are so much better than Barnum and Bailey.
By Lauren Hillery
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, February 10, 2005
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Dreams of becoming a pirate, a super hero or a ballerina are as common as the desire to join the circus. But, unlike most, Krin Maren Haglund never gave up that circus dream.

The world needs trapeze artists and somebody had to do it.

After college, Haglund decided to follow her passion by moving to San Francisco where she joined Circus Center, a training school for acrobats. Two years ago, she followed her friends to Paris for a circus competition where she got her big break by meeting the director of Cirque Éloize, Daniele Finzi Pasca.

She traveled to Montreal to audition, and after being hired had about 24 hours to move out of her apartment to start training.

"I loved the circus since I was a little girl. When people ask a child what they want to be, I would always answer trapeze artist," Haglund said. "After I graduated I realized I had to try to do circus as a life, because I knew I would always regret it if I didn't. So I'm following my passion."

Recently, Haglund was injured in a high-wire rigging accident where she broke her jaw and both wrists. After four months of rehab, Haglund is again performing in the show as character and an angel clown playing bells, but is gradually working her way back into acrobatics.

Cirque Éloize: 'Rain' follows the traditional Canadian new-age circus formula by combining acrobatics, dancing and theatrical performances, but unique characteristics set it apart from the rest.

Pasca derived his idea for 'Rain' from his family's photography background and the memories that were saved from his childhood.

"I grew up in a world where memories were made up of moments snatched from time and frozen forever. In my shows, I simply make these images move," Pasca said on the Cirque Éloize website.

According to Haglund, the performance is broken up into vignettes that weave in and out of reality as a circus show is in rehearsal. The vignettes are both numbers and images that include dialogue in different languages.

But Haglund insists that you can understand what's going on whether you know the language or not.

Because the performance is layered and fast paced, audiences may be shocked that there are only ten circus artists and one musician in the cast.

"The audience will see the many different things happening on stage at one time and there's a beautiful layering of images and things that some are acrobatic and some are not," Haglund said.

Besides the beauty, there's quite a bit of comedy in the performance, as the performers play caricatures of themselves.

"Each person is exaggerated in some places and very subtle in others. You will see us playing human beings. The way we perform and the way we act changes a little bit, but you kind of get to know each performer a little bit throughout the show," Haglund said.

The performers have been assembled from around the world, including Americans, French, Ukrainians, Polish and Canadians.

Because the group is so small and comes from a variety of backgrounds, the cast has formed a close bond while attempting to bridge the language barrier by learning French and English.

"Rain" does involve an element of water, about 700 gallons of it, but Haglund believes it is better left as a surprise. She does insist, though, that they try not to get anyone wet.

"It's an amazing moment when the audience first sees the water and you can just hear this gasp sometimes and it's really wonderful," she said.

Haglund believes the most unique aspect of the show is that the audience is shown a different perspective of the acrobat as a person.

"I don't think the audience accepts that from acrobats. They usually don't think of acrobats as super human personas and when they see an acrobat laugh at themselves, it's a really beautiful and surprising thing," Haglund said.

Following their U.S. tour, ending in the spring, the show will settle on Broadway for the summer months.

The show runs Saturday at 2 p.m., 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the UApresents Box Office at 520-621-3341.

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