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In pictures: Cirque act is a symphony of stillness

For the dancer who hold audiences spellbound, the performance is a symbol for life: ‘Even the very small stick has the same significance as the very big one’

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As usual with Cirque du Soleil, there is no shortage of showstoppers in the latest flamboyant production, Amaluna, now playing in Vancouver. But the biggest showstopper of all barely moves. In an act unlike anything staged before by the Cirque, Lara Jacobs, a 30-year-old Swiss dancer, holds audiences spellbound in tense, rapt silence as she meticulously assembles a large, swaying, perfectly balanced mobile of 14 odd-sized palm ribs, piece by piece, from a jumbled heap on the floor. Some she picks up with her toes. At the end, she removes the smallest branch, the mobile collapses and the crowd erupts in a standing ovation.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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“The hardest part is the beginning, because you can sometimes mess up a little bit with the big ones, but with the small ones at the start, you really can’t. You have to be precise by the millimetre. So far, with Amaluna, it’s fallen three times. The first time, I was in a little bit of shock. I looked at the sticks. ‘Look what happened.’ Of course, people still applaud.”

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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“This act is very much a symbol. Even the very small stick has the same significance as the very big one. If you remove it, everything crashes, which is kind of the same in our world. For me, to show this message is a beautiful thing. I never get tired of it. I think I will keep on doing this for a very long time.”

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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“For me, it’s never routine. It is different every night. The balance point changes every time. The night before, there was a lot of wind from one side, so it started to bend instead of being straight. I had to blow with my mouth to make it go the other way.”

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Follow this link to watch video of Lara’s act:

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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