Everth Lopez: Dancing His
February 17, 2007
by J. W. Arnold
Wherever Quebec-based Cirque du Soleil sets up tent, the locale is transformed into a fairy tale told through hypnotic music, fanciful sets, colorful costumes and makeup, and mesmerizing acrobatic stunts and choreography. Sans tent Cirque du Soleil is projecting its magic in arenas across the country with a new touring production, Delirium.
Delirium returns to Kansas City’s Kemper Arena on Wednesday, February 21. Also returning is openly gay dancer Everth Lopez, an experienced and enthusiastic performer who nightly dons colorful makeup and costumes to seduce his audiences into Cirque’s unique entertainment.
The 29-year-old Miami native was a natural for the athletic production: “I have always been performing. I attended the New World School of the Arts in Miami. I was performing with the Greater Miami Opera when I was 12 or 13,” Lopez recalled.
Long hours of training brought Lopez the Florida state gymnastics championship, and later roles as a dancer in music videos for Gloria Estefan and Will Smith. He also pursued performance opportunities on Miami-based Univision shows like “Caliente” and “Sabado Gigante,” which are watched religiously across the Latin world.
Eventually, the young dancer felt the need to grow. That led him across the country to Los Angeles. “I went out to do ‘The Lion King’ and while I was there got an agent. I ended up doing a whole bunch of music videos, commercials, and some independent films. [L.A.’s"> the place for entertainment,” he said.
After seven years in California, Lopez took the call to audition for his “dream” job, Delirium, Cirque’s experimental touring production. Suddenly Lopez found himself on his first tour, traveling the country by bus and living in hotels as the company took its production to the heartland. While the lifestyle took some getting used to, he finds it a real thrill to be performing in large arenas.
“I’m used to being in theaters or on a soundstage, so when we’re performing in an arena, the whole thing takes on this rock concert vibe,” he said. “There’s so much energy around us as we do the show.”
“Performing with Cirque is the ultimate, though. It’s such a treat. It’s so detailed and creative. Cirque places so much attention on every detail, from the lighting to the costumes to the music. For this show, the music is remixed with a more upbeat sound with lots of energy to dance your heart out. It’s incredible.”
“This whole journey is an adventure,” he added.
Touring does present challenges for a young performer, particularly when it comes to relationships: “The show is certainly challenging physically, but it’s harder to be away from my family in Miami and I really can’t date anyone when I’m on tour because I like to involve myself in my work 100 percent—so I guess I don’t really need to be worrying about a ‘partner’ back home….or three cities ago,” he says with a chuckle.
With performers assembled from around the globe, the Delirium cast is world class. “As a kid, I grew up watching Russian gymnasts on TV. Now to be working with them and hanging out with them is a dream come true. And, when we’re not performing, we have a lot of fun together. We’ve become a family.”
When he was interviewed, Lopez was performing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but he’s looking forward to a return to Kansas City. “Kansas City is a beautiful city and the audiences were really great. They ‘got’ the show. Not every city does,” he said. During the last stop he and his cast members had a special treat, meeting internationally-acclaimed poet Maya Angelou, who was attending a conference. “I guess that will always be a special memory.”
For now Lopez is content with his role in Delirium, although opportunities with other Cirque productions occasionally present themselves, and there is a European tour planned for the current show. Still, the ambitious performer doesn’t rule out work on Broadway or a return to independent films in California.
“Who knows? The only thing I’m certain of is that I’ll be performing. If I’m not dancing, then I’ll be acting….and if not acting, I’ll be singing,” he mused. “That’s what I love to do.”
Cirque du Soleil: Delirium will be presented at Kemper Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 21 – Friday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 to $99.50 and are available at www.ticketmaster.com.