Cirque du Soleil drummer talks move to London ahead of Budweiser Gardens performance

Alex Reis, left, poses with Global News Radio 980 CFPL's Mike Stubbs. Reis will be performing as a drummer in Cirque du Soleil's Corteo. Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

A Brazilian-born drummer who now calls London home will be among the performers in Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo when it takes the stage at Budweiser Gardens on Thursday.

Corteo begins its run at Budweiser Gardens on June 13, and Alex Reis will be playing in the rhythm section.

READ MORE: Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo, a joyous celebration of the ending of life, comes to the Okanagan

Before signing on with the company, the professional musician had his own percussion school in Brazil and would record music at some of Sao Paolo’s biggest studios, however he was looking for a new challenge in his life.

That challenge would present itself in 2008, when Reis met with a recruiter from Cirque du Soleil who had travelled to Brazil.

“I was in love,” Reis said of his reaction to what the recruiter had to say.

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It took two years of auditioning before Reis was offered a position with Cirque du Soleil, and he began his career with the group in 2010.

Reis said a move to Canada was always a dream he and his wife of 22 years had shared, and London stood out among all of the stops on Reis’ first North American Cirque du Soleil tour.

“London was the first choice,” Reis said, adding that he and his wife wanted a city well suited for their three children.

“We want to raise the kids in a very safe place,” Reis said. “My kids are artists as well. They are now in school, and my oldest is in Fanshawe College.”

WATCH: Flying high with Cirque du Soleil

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Flying high with Cirque du Soleil

Another motivator for Reis’ move to the Forest City was the reason the city holds its nickname.

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Reis explained: “I came from Sao Paolo. Sao Paolo is a huge city, but it’s green… I love nature.”

Corteo will be running at Budweiser Gardens until Sunday, June 16.

—With files from Jess Brady

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