Balancing performance and entertainment

Bryan Burnstein

Bryan spent over 12  years with Cirque du Soleil as the Head of Performance Science. While at Cirque, he was responsible for managing the integration of strength and conditioning, performance nutrition and mental performance, as well as overseeing assessment protocols and performance data platforms. In his role he worked alongside the coaching and performance medicine managers to ensure the durability of 1,800 performers all over the world. Bryan was a key link between Cirque and many high-performance organisations and researchers around the world where he experienced an up-close look at what some of the best teams are doing to support their athletes and how to build a high-performance culture.

Bryan currently serves as a Director of Performance Science for Kitman Labs, a performance intelligence team that works with top sporting organisations around the world.

Bryan is a Certified Athletic Trainer as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist and Advanced Sports Performance Coach.


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2:50 Early career

8:00 Cirque’s history and appeal

11:52 Strength + conditioning at Cirque

15:08 Arts vs sports

17:33 The uniqueness of Cirque

20:58 Dealing with diversity

25:36 Training and resilience

32:48 Recovery

40:18 Joining Cirque

44:53 Collaboration with Ecole Nationale du Cirque

47:23 Teamwork

1) “Do the basics well”

2) Keep the human at the centre

53:18 The Cirque family

57:33 Diversity of Cirque shows

1:00:08 Guy Laliberté

1:06:03 Kitman Labs

1:11:18 Performance advice