Cirque Du Soleil Comes Full Circle

Malia Jones, born here in Hawaii, returns with the cast of ‘Saltimbanco’ in the breathtaking Cirque du Soleil acrobatic show at Blaisdell Concert Hall Oct. 30 to Nov. 16

Yu Shing Ting
Friday - October 24, 2008
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That’s Malia Jones in the yellow vest below the woman with the yellow gloves

Hawaii-born acrobat Malia Jones comes home to Blaisdell Center stage as part of the Cirque du Soleil Saltimbanco Arena Tour Oct. 30 through Nov. 16, the longest-running Cirque du Soleil show that actually was conceived on a beach here in Hawaii

Cirque Du Soleil comes to Hawaii for the first time this fall with its Saltimbanco Arena Tour at Neal Blaisdell Center Oct. 30 to Nov. 16 featuring an international cast of 50 artists including Hawaii-born acrobat Malia Jones.

Jones, who is Hawaiian and Native American, lived in Hawaii for only four months before moving to the Mainland with her adoptive parents. However, she has vacationed here about half a dozen times and says when she’s on the Island it feels like home.

“I love everything about Hawaii,” she says. “The smell, the beach. I love that it’s so laid-back and so relaxing. I move around a lot so nowhere really feels like home too much, but when I’m in Hawaii it’s definitely comfortable for me.”

In Saltimbanco, Jones is in three acts: Chinese poles, Russian swing and bungee.

“The nice thing about Saltimbanco, which is different from any of the other Cirque du Soleil shows, is that the house troop, after intermission, we each become our own Baroque character,” says Jones. “We each have a different costume, different makeup, so no one is exactly like someone else. My character is Deliquante. I get to play a tomboy and be a little brat to everyone.

Jones during a recent trip to Niagara Falls

“Also, we don’t have set choreography every night, so that’s one really great thing about Saltimbanco.”

The world premiere of Saltimbanco was held in Montreal April 23, 1992 and featured a cast of 36 performers. During its 14-year tour under the big top, the show visited 75 cities on five continents, totalling more than 4,500 performers before a combined audience of 10 million people. The show was redesigned only last year to play in large arenas, stopping in about 40 cities each year.

The name Saltimbanco comes from the Italian words saltare in banco, which literally means to jump on a bench. And it’s Cirque du Soleil’s oldest-running and longest-touring show.

Saltimbanco is a very happy and uplifting show,” notes Jones. “I know that when I’ve gone to Cirque du Soleil shows myself, it’s always been a very moving experience. You get to just not live your life for a couple of hours and you get to be in the fantasy world.”

From Hawaii, Jones and her family moved to Virginia, Northern California and then Reno, Nevada. She attended the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where she was on the gymnastics team and graduated in December 2004 as a political science and history major.

After college, Jones worked at the shows at Sea World for two summers, lived in Arizona for seven months to do a gymnas-


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