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From Ipswich PCYC to Cirque du Soleil trampolinist

The dream of running away and joining the circus was not just pie in the sky for Redbank Plains youngster Nathan Dennis, who was 13 years old when his parents took him to see a Cirque du Soleil show.

From that night, Mr Dennis knew that is what he wanted to do when he grew up.

“A few people had said to me ‘that’s an impossible dream’,” he said.

“That just motivated me more to make it happen.”

Mr Dennis, now 33, is a trampoline gymnastics performer with the famous Cirque du Soleil currently performing in KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities under the big top at Northshore, Hamilton.

The show is about a fantasy world where anything is possible.

Rather fitting for gymnast from Ipswich who is now one of 47 performing artists from 17 countries.

“I started doing Little Athletics at Goodna when I was 10,” Mr Dennis said.

“I then started gymnastics when I was 13 at the Ipswich PCYC.

“After a few years I moved to Robinsons Gymnastics at Mt Gravatt as the coach there had already sent a few gymnasts onto Cirque du Soleil.”

Mr Dennis’ career has been filled with highlights since he first joined Cirque du Soleil at 21 years of age in 2007.

“I have travelled around the world for the past 13 years,” he said.

“I have met all kinds of celebrities including Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Mel Gibson to name a few and Chris Pratt who invited us to spend a day on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Mr Dennis said it’s good to be home to spend some quality time with family and friends and that it is the first warm Christmas he has had in some time.

Performing eight shows a week is a gruelling schedule and there is not a lot of downtime.

“I do two hours of CrossFit in the gym in the morning and core exercises later in the day,” he said.

Luckily he enjoys spending time at the gym and even goes on his day off.

As the strength and conditioning coach for the troupe he is not only responsible for keeping himself in top shape at all times but the rest of the performers too.

Mr Dennis credits his success to hard work and his mum, Gail.

“Mum would drive me to training for years after school,” he said.

“After that, I would come home from work and she would have my dinner ready so I could grab it and eat it on the way to training.”

Fast Facts about KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities

  • More than a hundred costumes were created to dress the cast of KURIOS.
  • There are 426 props in the show, the most of any production in Cirque du Soleil’s history.
  • Some 65 trucks transport close to 2,000 tons of equipment for KURIOS™ – Cabinet of Curiosities.
  • The 122 tour members come from 23 different countries. Some have been touring with Cirque du Soleil for more than 15 years.
  • This is the first time that Cirque du Soleil presents a welcoming act on top of the big top before the show starts.  When weather permits, 3 artists climb up the big top and greet the guests from above while playing music and acting.  Guests get a taste of the KURIOS experience as soon as they enter the site.
  • It took the team of props makers approximately 250 hours to build Mr. Microcosmos’ round belly.
  • All performers are responsible for applying their own make-up every show, which can take them between 40 minutes to two hours.

Tickets are available here or by phone at 1800 036 685.

Cirque du Soleil will support the Australian Red Cross Disaster and Recovery fund with a special matinee benefit performance on Thursday, 20 February at 4:00pm to raise funds to help Red Cross emergency teams continue to support Australians in the wake of the fires.

The show will continue until 23, February.

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