WITH acts including aerial hoop, teeterboard, double high wire and the Wheel of Death in Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza, it is safe to say there is more than one thrill seeker in the talented cast.
Performers Jimmy Ibarra and Vincente Quiros firmly fall into this category.
Ibarra is a third-generation circus performer and Quiros sixth-generation. They star respectively in the Wheel of Death and on the double high wire.
Colombian Ibarra began training for the 725kg Wheel of Death when he was 12 years old after trying trampoline and flying trapeze.
He first performed it at 14 and said working at Cirque du Soleil was always his dream.
“I like the adrenaline this act gives me; it’s crazy and I like crazy things,” Ibarra said.
“When I started it was hard but now it’s just like I’m walking down the street. Of course there are risks there, but when you train hard and work on it every day, you can show the audience it’s a dangerous or high risk act but you’re a professional.”
Quiros, who performs on the double high wire with his brothers and cousins, has been with Kooza since the show’s creation in 2006.
The Spaniard said he practised every day and kept in shape with swimming, running, eating healthy and abstaining from smoking and drinking.
“Spanish people like to drink but I can’t because that would be risking my life or my other family members,” Quiros said.
“My wife and two daughters (17 and 14) also travel with me. My wife used to dance, do contortion and wire but she stopped after our first daughter was born. Now she and my eldest daughter work in merchandise.”
When not under the blue and yellow big top, both performers said they still had time for hobbies.
Quiros enjoys cooking Spanish food and may make it a career when his circus days are over, while Ibarra continues looking for adventure.
“I like motorcycles so when I’m home I love to ride; I also skydive,” Ibarra said.
“I can connect with the air but I can’t connect with water. When I’m in the air, I feel like my body can fly but when I’m under the water, I feel like I can’t move and it’s scary. And maybe there’s a shark around.”
What: Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza
Where: Belmont Racecourse
When: until June 11