Before Rosina Gil became one of the top dancers in the world, she was the target of bullying. That's why she's proud, now, to be part of a group of people that are celebrated for their differences.
Gil, a ballerina from Montevideo, Uruguay, is part of the cast of "Volta," an energetic Cirque du Soleil show that combines circus artistry with extreme sports for performances under the big top at the Del Mar Fairgrounds through May 5.
The show's message resonates with Gil because it's about, "this idea of what is different, it makes you special."
"The story is about somebody that burns with blue hair and the feathers and he suffered bullying, so it's about this self-acceptance," she explained.
Dozens of performers -- from acrobats to shape jumpers and BMX riders -- make up the cast of Volta, and each has their own unique background that lends to the show, Gil said.
"We all bring something beautiful to this show and I want to change that perspective -- that what is different can be positive for something in common," she said.
As a child, Gil was made fun of for her slim stature and large nose.
But she worked for years, first in her home country and then around the globe, to become one of the top dancers in the world, according to Dance Europe Magazine, and hopes the message in her latest show can change people's perceptions about being different.
Gil trained at the National Ballet of Uruguay for eight years before traveling to Spain, where she performed in "Ballet Carmen Roche" and "Ballet of Santa Coloma de Gramenet David Campos." She rejoined her home country's national company as a prima ballerina before moving to the United States and joining the cirque.
"I like the idea that the Cirque brings together all these people from different nationalities, doing something all together to create something magical," she said. "The cirque inspires me a lot because it’s a place where all the people work with such love and passion."
Despite having performers from 25 different countries, Gil said she is one of a handful of Latino artists but she is proud to be the one representing her culture.
Gil plays the mother of the main character, Waz, who is in search of fame but realizes as the show progresses that celebrity status cannot replace self-acceptance.
Through her performance, Gil wants to show people, "How beautiful [a Latin soul can be], all the things that we have to share, all the things that we’ve been through during our lives and things that make us special."
The show's director Ron Kellum said Volta is "about finding your free." The word means an about change or a burst of energy.
Guests can expect to see performers twisting, diving and flying through the air in colorful costumes as a melodic score accompanies them. All are meant to draw the audience into the show's theme transformation and finding oneself.
Tickets to Volta start at $49 for adults and $35 for children with options to meet the cast or see the show from VIP suites. They can be purchased through the Cirque Du Soleil website here.
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