Cirque du Soleil brought electric bikes to the party.

When you think of Cirque du Soleil, you probably don’t think of motorcycles, let alone electric ones. If you’ve seen any trailers for the troupe’s show that started in Las Vegas in October 2019, you already know where this is going. However, if you haven’t, you’re in for an unexpected treat—which is the best kind of treat, in my opinion.  

Anyone who’s spent time watching master trials and hard enduro riders do their thing can tell you that motorbikes can be downright acrobatic. Stunters who are at the top of their game are just doing a different flavor of it, like different dance styles. When your skills are top-level, those riders can make their bikes dance in ways the rest of us only dream we could.

R.U.N. is the newest Cirque du Soleil show, and it’s not just a bunch of people in costumes putting on the purely human body-based acrobatic show you might expect. Instead, the company is billing it as “the first live-action thriller.” To prove that it means business, the show is written by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Planet Terror, The Mexico Trilogy) and scored by Tyler Bates (the John Wick trilogy, both Guardians of the Galaxy movies). It also features live-action chase scenes involving cars and the ace electric bike stunt riders you see in this video.

Drone pilot and YouTuber Mr. Steele was invited to shoot some behind-the-scenes prep work with two of the six total motorcyclists who are part of the cast. The way it apparently works is that only two at a time are called for each performance, but there’s a third rider who functions as backup. Two sets of three riders each can switch out to do the 10 total shows per week that are currently scheduled, according to the LA Times. One rider, unfortunately, crashed during the opening performance in October and suffered a broken collarbone, and it’s unclear if that rider is still involved in some capacity.

Part ballet, as you see in this breathtaking drone video, and part stunt show, R.U.N. features some big jumps and action that’s meant to immerse the audience as much as possible. It’s an interesting concept, for sure—and it’ll be interesting to see how it fares with both riding and non-riding audiences. 

Sources: YouTube, Cirque du Soleil, LA Times