Multicoloured creatures slither across the stage and scamper up the Chinese poles - the skyscrapers
of Saltimbanco. Like reptiles, the acrobats leap and fly through the air with astounding agility, strength and
speed. With their hypnotic, serpentine dance, these masters defy gravity and breathe life into their surroundings.
Inspired by the original Chinese discipline, this act features twenty artists from Cirque's house troupe
performing 25 feet in the air. (The poles that are used in the Chinese pole act are 7.3 metres long.)
The Mother, Father and Child, having performed their movements, part ways with their offspring and leave
him (or her) alone and unsure, yet thrilled with the experience of life to come. The Child grows up before
our eyes; he (or she) will now totter through the world of Saltimbanco as its clown personage, bringing us along
on his journey of emotional discovery. In the meantime, multicolored creatures slither their way on stage - the
Worms - and up the four poles in the center of the stage; thus the Chinese Poles performance has begun!
The Chinese originally used the poles to scale its enemy's barricades, for Cirque du Soleil, the pole's purposes
are more exotic - they're used for performance displays of strength and sense of focus. Two poles are usually
featured in more traditional Chinese performance settings, however, for Saltimbanco, Cirque du Soleil uses four.
Colorful, artistic and daring, four or more performers climb, walk, crawl, cling, jump and slide around the poles.
This act features many great breathtaking acts of stamina and strength as these artists jump from pole to pole,
defying gravity and all sense of reality. And it seems just as it begins, these creatures slide their way back down
onto the stage where they return to the shadows from which they came.
The shuffling beat to the title track, "Saltimbanco" provides a majestic rhythm for the pole climbers and jumpers.
This instrumental is just a preview of what is to come throughout the show as several improvised solos are provided
from the musicians. Saxophone and distorted guitar play the major theme as interruptions of instrument solos are
choreographed with the artists' exploitations.