Meet The Aussie Boys Wowing Audiences With Cirque Du Soleil

Aidan Williams

PHOTOGRAPHER: Aidan Williams

Nathan Dennis and Fletcher Donohue are currently touring Australia in the Cirque Du Soleil production, Kurios – Cabinet Of Curiosities. They spoke to DNA…

Nathan Dennis and Fletcher Donohue

Nathan Dennis | Instagram

Nathan Dennis

You were inspired by Cirque du Soleil at a very young age. What happened?

I saw my first Cirque du Soleil show when I was 13; it was the show Saltimbanco. I remember turning to my mum and saying, “I’m going to do this one day.” I worked hard toward my dream and decided to audition when I finished school. I had a successful audition and one year later I was offered a contract on Saltimbanco, the very show that inspired me when I was young. I was 20 when I joined the company.

What’s the most special thing about this current production, Kurios?

It’s the variety of acts. There are some new acts that have never been performed on a Cirque du Soleil stage and those acts that you may have seen before have a special twist added to them. Oh, and the music! You’ll be hearing those songs in your head on the way home. 

Apart from performing in Kurios, you have a special role within the touring company. What is that?

My job as the Strength And Conditioning Coach is to build programs for the artists, either to better their performance, assist with some personal fitness goals they might have, or help prevent injury. 

Is it true that circus performers can eat whatever they like because they burn off the calories every night? 

It definitely helps to have a physical job but I wouldn’t say we can eat whatever we want. Onsite we have a kitchen and 4 chefs, they prepare most of our food so it’s very easy to eat healthy.

What are you most looking forward to during the Australian tour of Kurios?

Mostly to performing in my home town of Brisbane and having my whole family in the audience. It will be quite the full circle moment having my mum watching knowing that 13 years ago I was sitting right next to her watching our first Cirque du Soleil together and now she is watching me on that stage. 

Fletcher Donohue | Instagram

Fletcher Donohue

You are one of the Aussie cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios, where do you hail from in Australia?

 I’ve been lucky enough to call a few cities home. I was born in Bowral, New South Wales, then spent all of primary school on the west coast, in Perth, before moving to the Gold Coast for high school and the years beyond.

How long have you been performing in Kurios?

I’m coming up on my third year with Kurios. Before that I was working and residing in Las Vegas with the Cirque du Soleil show The Beatles Love.

Tell us about your character, Voyager/Acronet in the show.

I am a house troupe artist meaning that I get to play many characters throughout the show. I’ll often change my costume or character five times in a show. Kurios offers the audience a strong acrobatic show paired with excellent storytelling and character, this offers a unique challenge for us and a way to keep things fresh and exciting. 

Do you have other roles?

Yes, I also understudy one of the main characters, Mr Microcosmos. He is the authoritarian figure who guides the Seeker through his journey. His subconscious, Mini Lili is with him every step of the journey helping him find his softer side. The Acronet is where he finds his freedom of expression and a weight is lifted from his shoulders.  

You’re an acronet artist. What does that mean?

The Acronet is the world’s largest trampoline. Think backyard trampoline antics times seven… that’s how many acrobats share this rebound playground taking heights of 13 metres with the most air time of any act in Cirque du Soleil. 

You are constantly touring, trampolining and doing gymnastics – are you in the best shape of your life?

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m in my best ever shape – I definitely feel good in my skin and my body is able to do all that is asked of it. Touring is sometimes a challenge and makes routine difficult but being in Australia is definitely making that a little easier for me. 

What are you most looking forward to during the Australian tour of Kurios?

I’m just excited that I get to help share this truly wonderful show with my home country. It’s always special to have a home crowd. Family and friends cheering away doesn’t hurt. 

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