Arnaud is working hard onstage and off to meet the everyday demands of performing in Mystère.
Arnaud Betrand has enjoyed the last few weeks of perfect performances of Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. “We are all on cue and working hard,” he says. “All the shows have been great and we’ve had some amazing audiences.”
For his role as the Green Lizard, he spends a majority of the show close to the ground, using his arms just as much as his legs. With a whopping 10 performances each week, it’s essential for Arnaud to stay in top form and maintain his technique and strength. He starts each day by weight training. “At the gym I only lift weights, because I get a huge cardio workout during the show,” he says. Arnaud also takes one ballet, modern and Pilates class each week.
Arnaud celebrated his one-year anniversary in the Mystère cast in December. Reminiscing about his first days with Cirque, he says, “I was very careful in my first performances,” adding that being one body in a 72-member cast with tons of entrances and exits meant quickly replacing his new-to-the-cast nervousness with concentration. “I had to think hard about my staging, and the other artists’ staging,” he explains.
Arnaud’s free time is spent checking out a few new clubs in the Las Vegas area; however, his social life hasn’t been keeping him out too late. “I have really been resting and being good to my body,” he says.
Fit to Begin
Radio City Rockette Lindsay Howe revs up for rehearsals.
On October 10, Lindsay Howe moved from Sacramento, CA, to Manhattan for the Rockette season. This year she got her own apartment about a 20-minute walk to Radio City Music Hall. By the time her cast (the Gold group) started rehearsals on November 5, the Blue group had already opened the show.
There are two Rockette casts (Blue and Gold) because there are too many performances for a single line to do. The Gold cast does primarily afternoon and evening shows, while the Blue cast does morning and afternoon shows. On one cast’s day off, the other cast performs all of the shows, and vice versa.
In preparation for rehearsals Lindsay had an hour-long appointment during which she met with the Rockette physician and a physical therapist as part of a “day of health” to aid in injury prevention during the hectic winter season. “My knees have been bothering me, so [the physical therapist] gave me some exercises I could do to make them better,” she says. The physical therapist prescribed Thera-Band exercises for her knees and stretching for her IT (iliotibial) band, an area that tends to get tight when dancing Rockette choreography in heels.
Lindsay also had an appointment with the wardrobe department. “My fitting was really easy this year because I have all the same costumes from last year,” she says. Certain elements of her costumes, like the spats for her Santa shoes and the marabou on her green opening-number costume, were refurbished to give them a fresh look. “The model costume is my favorite,” she says. “With all the rhinestones and the dip-dyed effect, it is very girly and fun. You also get to wear the white wig and that is fun, too.”