Luba Kazantseva [Russia] : Aerial Silk, Hoop, Straps
From ballerina in Moscow to one of the best Cirque du Soleil Aerialist.
"ballet training gave me an incredibly strong base as a performer in general and allowed me to master other skills like aerial acrobatics without loosing that theatrical stage appearance..."
- Aerial Silk
- Aerial Hoop
- Cirque du Soleil “Zumanity"
- Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil
- Light Night Club by Cirque du Soleil
- 2015 Pan American Games Opening Ceremony by Cirque du Soleil
- Cirque du Soleil “KÀ"
- 2018 One Night for One Drop by Cirque du Soleil
- Cirque du Soleil “Mystère"
(Photo by Images By O'D)
Q1. What was the biggest challenge to switch from ballerina to aerialist?
A1. I think the biggest challenge for me switching from being a ballerina to an aerialist was to gain an upper body strength. Ballet training requires lots of years of training mostly spent in ballet studio practicing and developing strength and power in your legs to be able to make all the leaps and turns look very smooth on stage. Upper body for ballet performance is used for completing every movement with grace and effortlessness. Therefore arms must look long and shouldn’t be very muscular unlike the arms of an aerial performer. It took countless pull ups and hours of climbing silks for me to finally feel comfortable up in the air.
Q2. How did you feel when you have to move from Russia to USA? How old were you?
A2. I was 20years old when I moved to US to get my GC through my family. I never thought I would stay. My life was in Moscow in one of the prestigious Ballet theaters. Somehow plans changed and next thing I knew I was taking hip hop dance classes and practicing aerial skills being absolutely mesmerized by Cirque shows I watched for the first time live in Las Vegas. Not knowing English at all I felt I was inside of a Hollywood movie where there was so much action happening and I could just watch it passing by right before my eyes. Now I am a part of that action and I’m extremely happy to be in circus community and being exposed to all the talent around me!
Q3. What sets you apart from other aerialist?
A3. I believe ballet training gave me an incredibly strong base as a performer in general and allowed me to master other skills like aerial acrobatics without loosing that theatrical stage appearance. Whenever I perform or choreograph an aerial act I think of it as a story telling where each pose and line must finish the thought I had in my head and deliver it to the audience. I always strive for connection between performer (whether it’s myself or one of my students) and the audience and try to never sacrifice that connection for any hardest trick out there.
Video filmed and edited by Trevor Nassler
Q4. What do you see in students? What do you focus in training?
A4. I love sharing my aerial skills and stage experience (over 20years) with my students. Being their coach motivates me and pushes me to my own limits of creativity, patience, and dedication to circus arts. I could be strict from time to time and maybe being a little “too Russian” with my students but It's all done from the bottom of my heart and from willingness to get the best out of them!
Q5. What is the best part of being a coach?
A5. I really enjoy coaching and especially choreographing for my students because it’s pretty awesome to see the progress in them and to see my creative ideas come to live. I feel a little bit like a sculptor who works with clay and can play and adjust shapes on the body in front of you until they become what you had in mind. It’s an honor to do this with my students and have their trust in my vision!
Q6. Could you give advice for young artists?
A6. My advice to younger artists would be “Never limit yourself in anything and get as much inspiration as possible from any form of art out there “
Thank you Luba!!!
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