It's been a newsworthy few weeks for Quebec-based Cirque du Soleil. On June 29, a performer plummeted to her death during the finale of Ka in Las Vegas, the first casualty in Cirque's nearly three-decade history. This happened within days of the premiere of Michael Jackson One, Cirque's second collaboration with the King of Pop's estate (which made the late pop star's mother break down in tears). Despite the tragedy, Cirque's scheduled tours continue as planned: Quidam, about a young girl named Zoe who creates an imaginary world as an escape from her distant parents and boring life, comes to Raleigh with 52 artists and 53 crew members in tow.
Performer JP Viens, who plays the character of BoumBoum in the show, explains this business-as-usual attitude: "We know there's risk," he told us in a brief telephone call. "People come and see the show because there is risk." Indeed, it's the knowledge that Cirque's incredible aerial contortions and acrobatics are so dangerous that makes them so exciting. For the tremendous spectacle this tour promises to bring—risk and all—we think that's fitting. —Emma D. Miller