Married to the stage: Natalia Pestova and her husband perform a joint act in Cirque du Soleil's 'Quidam'

dminty@ledger-enquirer.comApril 30, 2013 

Natalia Pestova is with her husband pretty much all day, every day.

The couple will perform the Hand to Hand duo act in Columbus on May 11-12 when Cirque du Soleil brings "Quidam" to the Civic Center.

The duo practices together, works together, eats together, travels together and performs together.

Isn't that a lot of togetherness?

"For us it's normal," she says.

Being touring performers isn't always easy but Natalia and Alexander make it work.

"We travel, work and get to see the world," Natalia says.

While touring, her mother, who lives in Russia, looks after the couple's daughter. She watched their son, too, until he turned 18 recently.

It's difficult to be away from the kids, but Natalia is grateful that her mom can watch them while she pursues her passion.

Even as a young girl, Natalia knew she wanted to see the world. She was inspired by an uncle who traveled frequently. "I was always crying, 'I want to travel,'" to her mother who assured a young Natalia that she could make her dream come true.

Natalia encourages all young children to do the same. "Go with your dream," she says. Her son took her advice. "He was dreaming to be on stage from when he was 6 years old," she says. He's now touring with another division of Cirque du Soleil.

Natalia started doing gymnastics when she was 5 years old and quickly moved on to Acrosports. When she was 17, she began performing as a duo. She was invited into Cirque du Soleil in 1999 and joined "Quidam" in Europe.

Natalia says staying focused is the key to thriving on the Cirque du Soleil tour.

"You have to be really professional," she says, noting that the group performs in a new city almost every week during the tour.

She loves the close bonds the cast members share.

"We know everything about everybody. It's like a town within a town," she says.

In her free time, Natalia enjoys shopping and spending time with the person she sees most, her husband.

Alexander is also an avid photographer and Natalia enjoys acting as the stylist for his photo sessions.

That's right. Even when they're not touring together, they're still working together.

"Quidam" is a family show recommended for children 5 years old and older. Organizers say audience members of different ages tend to see different things and get different excitement out of the show.

Cirque Du Soleil's 'Quidam'

When: 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11 and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, May 12.

Where: Columbus Civic Center

Tickets: Adults, $102.50-$37.50. Children, 12 and younger, $82.50-$30.50.

More information: columbusciviccenter.org

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com and 1-800-745-3000

Fast facts: "Quidam" had its world premiere in Montreal under the Big Top in April 1996. Since then, the production has toured on five continents and been experienced by millions of people. December 2010, Quidam embarked on a new journey, performing the same captivating production, but now in arenas throughout North America. The international cast features 52 world-class acrobats, musicians, singers and characters.

'Quidam' story line: Young Zoe is bored; her parents, distant and apathetic, ignore her. Her life has lost all meaning. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world--the world of Quidam--where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul.

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