Success story of a Kazakhstani at Cirque du Soleil10 september 2014, 23:33
Sergey Nazarov from Kazakhstan's Karaganda city experienced it all from ups and downs, grand performances in front of thousands of people to finding his significant other during his career at Cirque du Soleil.
Sergey was used to a strict schedule and trainings since his early childhood. He spent his childhood and youth in a gymnastics boarding school and other sports schools. After winning an Asian Championship in Acrobatics, Nazarov joined the Canadian circus, Tengrinews reports citing Novyi Vestnik.
Sergey had never thought that one day he would be an acrobat, because his mother took him to different classes from karate to boxing and even theater.
Photo © nv.kz
“That basically how it all started. I managed to do well in school too. At 13 I tried to study advanced math because I did not plan on becoming a sportsman. I thought I would be an engineer. But then I got better in sports. With the new success I started feeling stronger and could not imagine my life without it. At 16 I became the master of sports and won my first national championship. I had not heard about Cirque du Soleil back then. But I decided that engineering was not what I wanted to do and got enrolled into the Sports and Physical Education department of the Karaganda State University,” Sergey said.
After graduating from the university, he stayed at the university to teach and continued training as part of the national team. “Back in those days, some of my mates from the national team of Kazakhstan got into du Soleil. That was when I started thinking if I should try earning some money too. I met people from the Canadian cirques at the world championship. They asked me to send my video,” the former acrobat said.
In two weeks time after sending his video, Sergey received an invitation from the circus. “I still had a contract with the national team at that time! I was getting my pay as a national team sportsman and worked at the university,” he remembered. But in two months after the World Championship, Sergey started training with acrobats from around the globe for the KOOZA show in Montreal.
During his work in the circus, Sergey met his partner. “We created our solo performance. She originally was a gymnast, but then trained at the national cirques school in acrobatics. She dreamed of working in Cirque du Soleil all her life,” he said.
Sergey performed acrobatic stunts at the height of 9 meters wearing stilts. Injuries were unavoidable. “We were training on the premier day. There was a newcomer. He did not know that he was not supposed to step off the boards. I landed on the empty board and my ankles twisted. I got two ligaments torn in my leg. But I performed at the premier the same day. Only when we arrived to a different city I went to the doctor because it was still swelling. The doctor told me that I lost two ligaments,” Sergey said.
Despite the injury, Sergey continued his career at the circus. Later he got promoted and his name appeared with his own performance. “We came up with a number of unique stunts. For example, in the end the partner was doing a handstand. I tossed her up. She did a somersault and I caught her on my back. You could hear the audience holding breath at the moment,” the acrobat said.
But recognition and admiration did not come easily. Sergey remembered how he had to train despite fatigue and pain. “I had to constantly push myself. We worked on our solo performances at night. We would finish performing at 11 pm, and then train till 2 am. In the morning we came to the trainings before 8 am to rehearse everything. We were exhausted. There were moments when after an 8th show I would get up from the bed and feel like I was standing on shattered glass. My legs felt stiff as iron and did not move. But after 15 minutes of warm up I became as good as new,” he reminisced.
Sergey said that he had never slacked off during his trainings. “I learned discipline when I was a kid. It always helps to perform 100%,” he said.
Two years ago, Sergey left Cirque du Soleil. He moved to Vancouver with his wife, former partner at the cirques. The couple opened a gym where they are helping Vancouverites keep in shape and stay healthy.
He does not miss the circus. But what he does miss is the adrenalin rush. “When the audience is looking at you, the lights are on you, the music is playing only for you and you get 30 people working backstage for you, it is a great responsibility and pressure. It feels like walking on the on the razor's edge. There were over 3 thousand people watching me in the North America and 6 thousand in Japan. There were new people coming to see the performance everyday. This feeling is irreplaceable,” Sergey concluded.
By Gyuzel Kamalova