Meet Joey Arrigo – Volta’s WAZ

Newmarket native Joey Arrigo is making a lasting impression with Cirque du Soleil.

The 25-year-old is not only the leading character Waz in their newest show Volta, but he helped develop it as well.

“It was really interesting to be a part of the creation of this show, rather than just stepping into a role,” he said. “It was a really great opportunity to work with the brilliant minds that create the Cirque du Soleil shows.”

Volta tells a story about the freedom to choose one’s own path.

Waz is a celebrity who hosts a game show where middle class people, or Greys, compete to become part of the Elites. But he has a secret.

“He grew up with blue feathers as hair,” explained Arrigo, adding the character was ridiculed about it, so he covered it with a crown. “What Waz realizes is he is classifying everybody on their differences when all he really wants is to be accepted.”

Waz later meets the Free Spirits.

“They know all about self-acceptance and self-love,” said Arrigo.

He said the character does have parallels with his own life, but the show also has a message that can resonate with anybody.

“When I started exploring the role of Waz, I had to dig deep into myself and consider certain things about myself,” said Arrigo, adding that it all tied into the Volta’s message.

“We all have things about ourselves that we were maybe once insecure about,” he said. “But those are the things that make us different, those are the things that make us original, and those are the things that make us unique.”

This is the second Cirque du Soleil show Arrigo has been part of. He played a trickster in Kooza.

He said he wanted to be part of the company since he was young.

He used to watch one of their first shows, Nouvelle Experience.

“There was something about it, something so magical,” he said.

One of the characters was a clown played by David Shiner. Years later, when Arrigo was in Kooza, he met Shiner, who was the creator of the show.

“It was a full circle,” he said. “The guy who I watched in my living room, inspired me to be in the company, now I’m leading in his show.”

A few weeks ago, Arrigo’s career came full circle. He taught a class at York Dance Academy where he used to dance.

“All I want to do is go in there and share my love for dance, and return the love that York Dance Academy instilled in me,” he said.

“It was so nice to have a former student come back after all these years and to have him share his passion and talent with our dancers,” said Angela Tucker, artistic director and owner of the academy. “I still remember the young four-year-old who had so much energy and passion for dance. He’s now turned into an adult with the same energy and passion.”

{ SOURCE: York Region | }