Meet TORUK’s Peter Kismartoni

Peter Kismartoni didn’t want to go to the gymnastics lesson the first time his parents took him along.

He was just five years old, but with two sporty parents, a sister already enrolled and a younger brother not far behind, he soon found a passion for the sport that would set him up for the extraordinary life he lives now.

This week, 10 years after his YouTube videos of mock-fight scenes and daredevil antics were shown to recruiters, Peter Kismartoni, from the Melbourne suburb of Croydon, returns home for the first time as a star in Cirque Du Soleil’s TORUK – The First Flight.

Cirque du Soleil creatives approached the veteran Hollywood director and film producer, James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic, The Terminator trilogy) for inspiration for a new show.

It was in Las Vegas where Peter got his first taste of circus life after a former gymnastics coach alerted scouts, who happened to be in Melbourne at the time, to his talents.

He was offered a job in the City of Lights almost straight away and within weeks was on stage performing two shows a night for the masses in the MGM Grand Resort and Casino, on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

After seven years and over 3,000 appearances in the martial arts-inspired show KÀ, Peter jumped at the opportunity to be a part of a new global touring show that was still in its infancy.

TORUK began its ‘creation’ stage in Montreal in 2015, where artistic directors and performers worked together for months to develop the new characters and choreography— from the concepts inside the minds of the show’s bosses— to a full-blown arena spectacular.

Peter loves his life on the road but admits it can be tough, especially on his mum who would love to have him come home.

“My mum just misses me but of course she’s happy with what I’m doing,” he said.

“My dad’s the opposite though. He says, ‘No, don’t come home, it’s an awesome way to see the world, don’t save your money, just live.'”

The adoring crowds and non-stop adventure around the world can be exhilarating but for Peter, being able to perform for his parents in front of a home crowd in Melbourne will be the greatest thrill of all.

“This is where everything began for me. This is where I learnt my skills and it’s just like coming full circle being back here and performing,” he said.

“Not only for my family who took me to gymnastics for so many years, but for all the people I’ve trained with and sweated with.

TORUK takes place in the mythical world of Pandora, thousands of years before the events depicted in the 2009 blockbuster Avatar.

Cameron has previously said that Cirque du Soleil’s dreamlike sequences and artistry inspired his vision for the film which went on to become the world’s highest grossing movie of all time.

What began in the 1980s as a group of street performers in a small village near Quebec City, in Canada’s French speaking region, has sprouted and grown into a global artistic super-power, reaching over 150 million people in 300 cities around the world.

Cameron has had a big influence on the creative direction of the show and everything from new choreography to the details of the elaborate costumes and makeup are run past him for approval.

The Hollywood-heavyweight is often known to be backstage after shows giving glowing praise to the performers who bring his mythical world to life each night.

{ SOURCE: ABC Australia News }