Gymnast knows when to clown around
When he started in acrobatics at age 8, Andrii Lytvak had no idea he’d end up a clown.
In fact, as his sports career continued and the Ukrainian athlete started winning championships, he
had no thoughts of anything else, he said.
And then, Cirque du Soleil came calling.
“They always looking for people,” Lytvak said.
“Every serious competition, there’s always some guy from Cirque who comes.”
In 2009, that travelling guy asked Lytvakm Andrii Bilozor and Roman Urazbakiyev if they’d like to join Quidam — and take on the final act of the show, the Banquine.
Banquine, which was created in the Middle Ages in Italy, involves 15 artists performing a continuous series of acrobatics, human pyramids and synchronized movements.
In fact, of all the acts in Quidam, the Banquine is the one when general stage manager Gabriel Dube-Dupuis often finds himself holding his breath, even though he has seen it performed hundreds of times.
Lytvak, 24, takes dance lessons as well as all the exercise and training required of a world-class athlete.
He does it, he said, because it’s just as important to move like a dancer as it is to be an acrobat.
“Here, you have to be a multi-artist.”
He always performs in the Banquine but, because of his personality, Lytvak is also the understudy for the clown acts in the show.
He knew the minute he saw Quidam — he watched a performance on television — that he wanted to join the show.
“And, when I saw that act [the Banquine], it was incredible.
“You have to trust your partners,” he said. “You have to do everything to save your flyer, to make sure your flyer doesn’t fall.
“It’s just amazing.”