October 16, 2014

Dazzling At Disney: Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba” Going 15-Years Strong

La Nouba bird

If you can’t multitask, then Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba” is not the show for you.

This festive, theatrical experience features dazzling acrobatics, unbelievable human stunts and some really breathtaking usage of simple things like bicycles and trampoline.

This super-silly, but completely engaging circus-on-steroids has many elements—some of them you’ll see all happening at once.

The only Cirque du Soleil permanently housed on the East Coast, “La Nouba” has been planted at Walt Disney World in the Downtown Disney community since October 5, 1998.

Trampoline Artists in “La Nouba” caught a performance of the hit Cirque du Soleil musical and was able to chat with two of the cast members.

Selloane Nkhela, a Broadway star who joined “La Nouba” nearly two years ago after starring in “The Lion King” on the Great White Way, delivers stunning vocals that completely enchant you throughout the production.

“It’s really been a blessing,” Nkhela said of her time in “La Nouba.”

A show about living life to the fullest, Nkhela explained this production fairytale about seeking to have the best time ever.

Bicyclist in “La Nouba”

“My understanding that ‘La Nouba’ means to live it up,” she offered.  “It’s a party and there’s so much going on! The music is incredible so you are enjoying everything. It’s about partying and living it up.”

There’s a tightrope act that has audience members clutching to their seats, as well as acrobatics swinging and flipping from bars in the sky.

Diabolos pyramid in “La Nouba”

Attendees gasp in amazing as two performance glide around the stage on bicycle, narrowly falling off the edge and avoiding hitting those up front.

But it’s the balance of beauty and strength captured in the trampoline act that is one of many standout moments in the show.

Ryan Weston, a seven-year “La Nouba” veteran, said cast members must consistently stay in shape to fulfill the Cirque show’s rigorous 10-show a week work schedule.

Ryan Weston, Selloane Nkhela & Jawn Murray

“People are working out before shows, in between shows and even after our second show. The physical level that you enter the show, you have to maintain while in the show,” Weston explained.

Many of the performers in “La Nouba” are also skilled in multiple areas, making it possible to substitute where their coworkers are injured.

“It’s a live show so things happen. As a house troupe artist, if someone goes out, we fill in other places,” he added.

If you get to Walt Disney World in Orlando, “La Nouba” is certainly worth seeing. There’s no Mickey Mouse in this show and likely because a hallmark of Cirque du Soleil shows is no live animals—even when their birthed from animation.

Trampoline act in “La Nouba”


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