In Cirque du Soleil, home is where the show is

Life on the road with Cirque du Soleil
Life on the road with Cirque du Soleil

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Life on the road with Cirque du Soleil 03:06

Story highlights

  • Cirque du Soleil's Kooza show is on the road for 300 days a year
  • A large part of the planning is making sure everyone's documents are in order
  • Each person is allowed three suitcases and must pack for all seasons
  • Young performers receive schooling on the road

On the road for 300 days a year, a Cirque du Soleil touring troupe of 175 relies on the same precise planning for its travel arrangements as it does for its acrobatic moves and dare devil routines.

"Right now, we're in London, in the U.K., and we're working on making sure we have documents ready for Spain, for Russia, for France, because we're visiting those countries by the end of the year," said Geneviève Deslandes, the manager of the Canadian performing group's traveling show Kooza.

To plan for its visit to each city, one of the first orders of business is finding a place to stay. During their time in London earlier this year, the cast and crew stayed in the London Bridge area in 85 apartments.

"For London, it's really nice that we have everyone in the same place, but in Madrid, we're in 24 different places," said Jerome Vezina, the travel and lodging coordinator. He says they work on housing for about three cities at the same time.

Everyone must pack for all seasons, taking everything they will need all year round. Each of these ultimate road warriors is allowed three suitcases -- two to send ahead and one to travel with.

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Car rental and cost-cutting secrets

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"We don't live in the present -- sometimes it's sad to say like that -- we really live in the future," Deslandes said.

More than just a circus, Kooza is a community that includes two physiotherapists and four chefs. Teachers provide schooling for the younger performers.

For 15-year-old Mongolian contortionists, it's straight from math class to warm-ups for the next show.

But learning on the road has its benefits, according to Thierry DeGagne, one of the teachers. "My student is reading about Rosetta Stone, and we're going to visit it," she said.