The 15 artists of Cirque Éloize iD fill the Starlight stage with eye-popping spectacle this week. Two of the show’s dancers – Forty N’Guyen of Canada and Maria Pandora of the U.S. – shared insights into their personal routines. The show plays at Starlight on Sept. 8-13 and is the final production of the 2015 Broadway season.
Q. What is your area of performance expertise?
FORTY: I am a bboy (breakdancer) in the show. I also train in other styles of dance and acrobatics, and I am also a pretty good karaoke singer.
MARIA: I specialize in popping and tutting, while also having fun with other street dance styles such as locking, breaking, house, waacking and vogue. I love all styles of dance and prefer not to limit myself to just one. Movement is movement, and I love it all.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your performance specialty?
FORTY: The thing I enjoy the most about bboying is the community aspect. I love interacting with other bboys in a circle, exchanging moves and communicating without speaking. When I see other dancers dance, I feel like they are telling me their life stories.
MARIA: I enjoy the endless freedom that comes from honest creative expression and the power it has to inspire people around the world. Dance is a universal language, and I am very lucky to be able to share it via many platforms including dance events, battles and clubs during my career in both commercial entertainment and theater.
Q. What exercise or conditioning regimen do you follow?
FORTY: While on tour, it is difficult to follow a regimen because the days are not consistent. Some are travel days, some have one show, some have two shows, some days we do promos in the morning. I try to train with any free time I have. When I train, I do muscular conditioning, bboying technique (practicing moves), and bboy creativity (creating new moves).
MARIA: I stretch a lot, take vitamins, drink protein shakes, run/jog, do sit-ups and various dance drills to keep my technique strong.
Q. What type of diet do you follow to remain in top condition?
FORTY: I eat so much. I am not an example of a normal circus artist or dancer. I try to eat as healthy as I can (protein, vegetables and carbohydrates), but I eat three to four times a day, and each meal is about three plates of food. Normally the plates I make are 1½ times the size of average plates.
MARIA: I eat everything! However, I do try to keep my diet balanced with everything I need to keep me feeling strong. Sometimes though I get stuck eating things over and over that I love, like Pasta Carbonara!
Q. What do you do to relax and/or have fun during your down time?
FORTY: I train. I take advantage of my surroundings and become a tourist. I try to learn the new language of wherever I am. Or I play video games (League of Legends, Steam, PS4, etc.)
MARIA: My fiancé and I own a hip-hop dance company back home (in California) called “Little Box Of Hope,” which creates original works of art through dance, music and film. I love to write poetry, read, research, make music, listen to music, collect music, or practice dancing by myself or with other people. Sometimes these activities turn into really cool personal projects or fun collaborations with other artists. I also love to go out and explore the beautiful cities I get to perform in while on tour, connect with people, teach classes, and watch Anime…like “Naruto.” I love Naruto!
Q. If you cheat on your diet or schedule occasionally, what’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
FORTY: Growing up, I ate a lot of candy and had a lot of teeth problems. It has been four years since I have eaten candy, but one thing that is in the grey zone is Turkish delights. Turkish delights are my guilty pleasure.
MARIA: Without a doubt, OREOS AND A HUGE GLASS OF MILK!!!
Q. What are you looking forward to doing while in Kansas City?
FORTY: I heard there are a lot of fountains in Kansas City, so I want to take my pink umbrella and get pictures of me standing in all of the fountains. I want to visit the Kansas City Zoo, and I hope they have penguins.
MARIA: In every city around the world, I look forward to connecting with the local community, building with people, sharing my art, giving joy to others who come see us perform, receiving the beauty/culture each place has to offer and being there to simply inspire.