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LE AERIAL Getting a grip

International acrobat duo Stéphan Choinière and Angelina Puzanova’s FRINGE WORLD show Fugazi is the real deal. After dazzling audiences with their incredible acrobatic routine, they are heading down under to bring their 1940s gangster show Fugazi as part of the FRINGE show Le Aerial. Choinière spills the beans to SCOTT AITKEN about what it takes to be a world class acrobat, their time with Cirque du Soleil and their past close calls with disaster.

Most of us couldn’t imagine doing the kinds of things acrobats do. Do you think you’re a special breed of people and can you put your finger on what sets you apart from us mere mortals?

Survival. Compelled since childhood to be extraordinary or die. It’s a wacko pathology that makes a player. We need therapy.

You both have spent time performing with the likes of Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Brothers across the world. What have been the most amazing performances you have been part of and why?

Yeah, big-time dealers! But we prefer to make an offer you can’t refuse, up close and personal with the assassin’s special. That’s how we got made in the Borgata. From District man to Capo, those were the days!

What goes through your mind while performing together? Are you just trying to focus on performing the routine or do you get random thoughts sometimes like thinking about what you’ll have for dinner?

This is the real deal babbo, it ain’t no banana race! There’s no dreaming in the drink. You wanna think about your mama while makin’ a burn, you’ll get an ice pick jammed through the eardrum and into the brain. Usually results in death by cerebral hemorrhage.

The relationship between two acrobats and the trust between them, catching each other in the air and all, is like nothing most of us will ever comprehend. Is it easy to start working with new people or is it something that has to be built up over time?

Every goombah gets his comare. How you get it done ain’t no public business. But bagging the boosters, you gotta clock those cafones with a beauty hammer. Respect got a price.

You’re both trained professionals, but have there ever been any times where you’ve injured yourself seriously attempting something in an act?

Some empty suits fingered us once. They almost hijacked our game but we came with some heat and they hit the mattresses. An off the record piece of work. Amateurs get a serious headache from trained professionals if you know what I mean.

I hear there’s more to this show than just the acrobatics, with a lot of sensuality in your performance together. How is it different from other shows you have been part of and what are you looking forward to most?

La Cosa Nostra, it’s personal. Exactly why Uncle Sugar’s always watching. The stiff’s got nothin’ on us though. We keep it in the family. Don’t matter what office: clear the pad for business. It’s all part of The Combination. We’re looking forward to an incredibly thorough firebomb that leaves nothing standing.

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