The man behind The Target

The man behind The Target

A conversation with Cirque du Soleil’s Ardee Dionisio

Interview by Ron Cantiveros; Photos by Matt Beard; Costume by Dominique Lemieux

Cirque du Soleil is coming back to Winnipeg with “Quidam” (pronounced “key-dahm”) this month at the RBC Theatre at MTS Centre. “Quidam” is a story of a young girl name Zoe living in an imaginary world of Quidam to escape reality.

Philippine born, Ardee Dionisio hails from the Bicol region of the Philippines and is living his dream job as he plays the role of The Target in “Quidam.” In an interview while he was touring in St. Louis, Missouri and currently based in Austria, the Filipino Journal was able to speak to Ardee about his experience with Cirque du Soleil.

Discovered by chance by Cirque du Soleil talent scouts from online YouTube videos, Ardee was invited to audition for Cirque du Soleil two years ago. Having missed auditions in Vienna, he went to audition for Cirque do Soleil in Berlin and later learned he was offered a contract with world renowned performance company which began in 2010. He started in their South American tour included Chile, Peru and Columbia.

Ardee describes “Quidam” as one of Cirque du Soliel’s darkest shows as the imagery, costumes are very dark and one of its most realistic. His character, Target accompanies the lead character Zoe through the imaginary world of Quidam as her guide, friend and happy-go-lucky companion.

His training and career began with Ballet Philippines in High School. After high school, Ardee moved to Hong Kong to eventually graduate with distinction from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. As an artist, he’s been inspired by many people along his career including his cousin, April Silot based in St. Louis. Inspiration also came from Rafael “Nonoy” Friolan, Premier Danseur with Ballet Philippines; the late Noordin Jumalon, former director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (Ballet Philippines) Dance School; and as Ardee proclaimed, “the best choreographer in the Philippines” Agnes Locsin.
Currently on a short two-week break in their tour, Ardee Dionisio is back in Austria spending time with family before heading back on their North American tour. We want to congratulate Ardee, his wife and family on being a new father to a baby daughter last month.

True to his Filipino roots, I also had to ask Ardee about his favourite Filipino foods. Sinigang na baboy was one of them and based on his Bicol family roots, he mentioned that adobo chino (or adobo tsino) was also on his favourite food lists.

Winnipeg performances of “Quidam” are the RBC Theatre at MTS Centre on July 19-22. Tickets available on Ticketmaster. You can also win a pair of tickets to “Quidam” on the website.