Inspired by the playfulness of our youth, the Skipping Ropes act begins with
the Urbains performing rigid rhythms in monochromatic tones. This gives way to vibrant
dance and acrobatics in a steady stream of solo, duo and group jumps and formations.
Our featured Skippers combine artful moves, exceptional agility and impressive speed
that far exceed child’s play.
Skippers Yusuke Funaki, 29, and Shoichi Kasuo, 24, were inspired by a performer
in another Cirque show - Nori, a skipper in "Quidam." In the show, the duo descends
from the rafters — in hooded black costumes with day-glow designs— and break into
individual routines. Some parts are rapid-fire skipping (Kasuo completes four
rotations on a single jump). Some parts are more like rope tricks — one spins the
rope matador-style, one is more like a whip-cracking Zorro. Eventually, the act
expands into double-Dutch with acrobats sailing through the ropes. A triangular
formation with three ropes, three turners and nine jumpers is a logistical challenge.
The skippers skip from rope to rope — three women going clockwise, six men going
counterclockwise. Kasuo says his favorite part is called "jumpline," where nine
men stand shoulder-to-shoulder and he skips once with each of them in rapid