Cirque-ing for a Living

Montreal music man leads the band in famed acrobatic act.

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Cirque du Soleil music director Benoit Martin won't complain about the two-show-a-day schedule he's maintained for more than two years. At 26, he's just grateful for gigging in the popular troupe he's followed since he was a tween in his native Montreal. "You have to get used to the traveling. Of course, by the second show, you're tired, because there's no break for us," says Martin. "At the beginning it was hard, but we got used to it pretty quick."The troupe is in town for most of this week with a retooled version of its 1992 Saltimbanco routines: artistic bicycling, Chinese pole-balancing, bungee-jumping, and two-man trapeze acts. But to bring the show into the 21st century, Martin and his crew rearranged the score before they embarked on their North American tour in July. "They still wanted to put it on the road. So in the studio in Montreal, we changed part of the music to be a little bit more modern," says Martin. "It's basically the same show, but the music is more fresh — as music should be today." The troupe starts flying at 7:30 tonight, and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 30, Thursday, January 31, and Friday, February 1, at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University, 2000 Prospect Avenue. Tickets are $31 to $65. Call 216-241-5555 or visit
Tue., Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 3:30 & 7:30 p.m., 2008

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