With Ballet Fantastique’s upcoming performance of Cirque de la Lune, I had the special privilege of talking with professional circus artist and dancer, Raymond Silos.
Originally from Hawaii, Raymond started his entertainment career 12 years ago at Walt Disney World as a performer and went on to become a soloist dancer in ballet and musical theatre. He has performed in the circus world with many renowned artists and has travelled across the country and around the world from Hawaii and NYC to Guam, Japan, Bahrain, and all over Europe.
Raymond was working as a performer when he first started ballet. He was “drawn to ballet because of the beauty of it”.
As a talented circus performer, Raymond has travelled all over the world. When asked his favorite places he had travelled too, he had a difficult time making up his mind. After a bit of thought, he decided that New York City, Japan, and most of Europe were his favorite places to perform.
When asked about the differences between the circus world and the ballet world, Raymond talked about the unique circus culture stating, “Everyone comes from different backgrounds and has their own specialties.” He also discussed how the circus is “rich in tradition, heritage, and culture” with different beliefs and familial backgrounds. When switching to the subject of ballet, Raymond stated that one of the main differences is that “everyone is striving to be beautiful”. Ballet is rich in tradition as well, but it is a “different kind of training and tradition”.
In Cirque de la Lune, Raymond appears through out the show in the guise of a magician. He fuses his circus performance with ballet and even has a pas de deux with Hannah Bontrager, who he “is very honored and privileged to partner with”. His admiration for Ballet Fantastique and the show is palpable with his comments of “It’s an original and different show,” “I think it’s brilliant,” and “It mixes classical and contemporary and has an edge.” He is thrilled for this partnership with the ballet company and said, “I get to do the thing that I love to do… merge the circus artist and the dancer within me into one show.”
The collaboration with Ballet Fantastique came about by coincidence. Raymond was on a U.S. tour and had stopped in Eugene to perform at the Hult center. One afternoon, he decided to look up a place to take a ballet class. He came across Ballet Fantastique and to make the long story short, he met Hannah Bontrager. With further discussion, Raymond’s love for ballet, and Ballet Fantastique’s upcoming performance of Cirque de la Lune, the partnership was born!
Interesting facts about Raymond Silos:
Does Raymond have any special traditions or routines that he does before a performance?
The answer is yes! “I have a particular warm up that I do for myself,“ Raymond states. “I like doing what is called qigong.” Which is a Chinese practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise.
Where is he going next?
Florida, Minnesota, and Korea!
Catch a glimpse of Raymond Silos’ work here.
To see Raymond Silos and Ballet Fantastique’s dancers in Cirque de la Lune, purchase tickets at the Hult Center or online.