ESTERO — Cirque du Soleil performers seemed calm and at times even bored Wednesday during a practice session at Germain Arena.
So well rehearsed, the troupe of four women jugglers failed to turn heads. Five men stacked in a pyramid jumping rope at the pace of a single acrobat went nearly unnoticed.
Not until a hoop diver crashed into one of those hoops — seemingly the only error during the three-hour session — did the small crowd of stage hands produce a collective groan.
These people are talented, they're pros, and they practice with the same precision employed by the gymnasts sticking their landings.
"We're very structured," said stage manager Carl Martel. "Everything gets its five minutes."
Audience members new to the Cirque du Soleil experience, especially the ones who can't bend or dive or jump or juggle, will be wowed. The show, "Dralion," is in town through Sunday night.
"It's very colorful, very family friendly. There's a little bit of everything," Martel, 34, said. "A 5-year-old girl will see princesses everywhere, a little boy will see animals and the parents will be watching all the acrobatics."
Among those wowing will be 27-year-old Lorant Markocsany, who dangles from silks on the ceiling, performing "half-naked" in billowing, blue pants.
"I have a story in my head when I'm performing, and it's exciting to share it with the audience when they get it," he said.
Markocsany could be a surfer, with his white-stone necklace, pierced ear and tattoos. But he chose the air over the water.
A native of Hungary, the father of one has toured the world performing since 1999, with only short breaks to visit his 6-year-old son, Kevin. He first began jumping when he was 9 at a park in Hungary that charged for kids to use a public trampoline.
Markocsany got to know the performers from a local circus who jumped, and they started letting him use the trampoline for free.
"I'd say, 'Let's see who's better,' you know? And usually I always beat them," he said.
At 13, he began touring with the troupe.
Markocsany speaks Hungarian, Italian and English. As a trainer for the show, he's learning Mandarin so he can coach fellow performers, at least 25 of which hail from China. Traveling the world and working with people from around the globe are part of what draws Markocsany and others to the busy life of a performer.
"I love it," Markocsany said. "I can't stay in one place for so long."
Martel agreed the lifestyle can be stressful.
"We were at the beach on Monday and another one last week," he said. "When we visited Orlando last year, we ended up with tickets to Disney World. You never know what to expect, but it's always a fun time."
Viewers will enjoy the same element of surprise with this Cirque du Soleil show.