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October 25, 2021


2015 San Pedro Prep Softball Preview -

Friday, May 1, 2015

Art Preview: ‘Non-Native’ by Ingrid Dietrich -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

San Pedro Prep Baseball 2015 Preview -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Recapping The Final Gaffey Street Community Workshop -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tiffany Torres Bears Down For Success At POLA High -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

San Pedro Fish Market Launches Scholarship Contest -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

San Pedro’s Rita Fiorenza Is A Basketball Revelation -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

‘No Lane Reductions’ As Gaffey Street Redevelopment Plans Move Forward -

Friday, January 9, 2015

San Pedro Prep Sports 2014 Fall Review -

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

LAPD Harbor Division and Philie B’s Pizza To Host Charity Events This Weekend -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

San Pedro Holiday Parade Returns Sunday with a Twist -

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Winter Wonderland Comes To The Waterfront -

Monday, December 1, 2014

One-Way Streets May Come to Downtown San Pedro -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

San Pedro’s Two Newest Volleyball Skyscrapers: Allison Kittell & Tracy Folchi -

Monday, November 10, 2014

San Pedro and POLA Prep Girls Cross-Country Preview: Running For More Glory -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

International Craft Beer Festival Comes to Crafted This Weekend -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Second Workshop for Urban Greening Project Receives Warm Reception from Community -

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Construction of Mixed-Use Apartment Complex on Gaffey Could Begin Next Spring -

Thursday, September 25, 2014

UPDATE: Blaze Inside Port of L.A. in Wilmington Nearly Contained; Air Quality Deemed ‘Safe’ -

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

San Pedro High Football Off To Another Strong Start -

Monday, September 22, 2014

‘Totem’ Readies for Opening Night

Guilhem Cauchois and Sarah Tessier rehearse their fixed trapeze duet in Cirque du Soleil TOTEM's artistic tent in San Pedro on Oct. 9. (photo: Megan Barnes)

Photo: Guilhem Cauchois and Sarah Tessier rehearse their fixed trapeze duet in Cirque du Soleil TOTEM’s artistic tent in San Pedro on Oct. 9. (photo: Megan Barnes)

Sarah Tessier and Guilhem Cauchois dangle from a fixed trapeze in the artistic tent behind Cirque du Soleil’s big top, their concentration unaffected by the sounds of last minute preparations and rehearsals around them. Beside them, five performers toss and balance metal bowls on their heads while riding 7-foot-tall unicycles, and the wardrobe crew puts finishing touches on an array of shoes. There are only two days left until TOTEM opens for a month-long run of shows in San Pedro’s outer harbor.

“It’s nerve-wracking even though we’ve done it so many times,” says Tessier, 22, who has just returned from visiting her hometown of Montreal during the tour’s three-week break. “Opening night is definitely one of those nights when we want to do good.”

Twenty-four-year-old Cauchois, who is back from Paris, agrees. “Every audience reacts differently.”

VIDEO: TOTEM Rehearsal (Oct. 9, 2013)

The pair have performed in 350 shows since joining TOTEM last year. They were recruited by Cirque du Soleil in 2011 while still training at the National Circus School in Montreal, where they perfected routines that would form the basis of the Love Birds act they perform in TOTEM.

“Duo trapeze isn’t new, but it’s been re-explored lately, so there’s lots of creativity involved,” Tessier says. “We created the routine and we pushed our technique as far as we could, so we try to have a high acrobatic level as well.”

The routine, in which they play young lovers, won them a gold medal at this year’s Festival du Cirque de Demain in Paris.

“One of the hardest parts is staying in character and doing the physical part,” Cauchois says. “We never break character even in acrobatic motion. That’s one of the hardest things; not letting the character go when you are in a critical moment.”

While Tessier and Guilhem came to TOTEM from circus school, most of their fellow acrobats come from the world of competitive gymnastics. In all, 46 performers are on tour representing 15 countries. For tomorrow night’s dress rehearsal, they’ll spend more than an hour doing their own makeup before the run through. Their intricately detailed yet functional costumes — including some sewn with Swarovski crystals — are washed after every performance. An extra set is on hand backstage just in case.

While eight days might not seem like very much time to set up a show on the scale and magnitude of TOTEM, the crew has gotten it down to a science that is replicated at every stop of the tour. While in town, most have hotel rooms in San Pedro, and some in Torrance. They’ll be breaking down and heading to Irvine in November.

“Basically the big top at the show is the only stability in our lives we have with each other and it truly becomes a family,” says Cirque du Soleil publicist Francis Jalbert. “We speak 11 different languages but somehow because we’re all on the road together, we get to know each other.”