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You've seen him live on stage with Madonna at the Confessions Tour and defying gravity in the streets and in the skies of Tokyo in the Jump video. Now the very talented Victor Lopez stops by at Madonna Tribe to talk about freerunning, touring with the Queen of Pop, and how Madonna made him ready to jump and become a professional freerunner.


MadonnaTribe: Hi Victor and welcome to Madonna Tribe. First of all I wanted to ask you how would you decribe freerunning and parkour to those among our readers who are not familiar with these sports?

Victor Lopez
: Just to clarify, there is a distinction between being a freerunner and being a parkour artist. It's not surprising that many people don't know this. I am actually a freerunner and not a parkour artist and every member of the "Jump" team (whom you saw in the tour) are also freerunners.

Though the two disciplines are closely related, there are subtle yet very unique differences. Parkour is all about moving from point A to point B in a very efficient and effective manner through your environment. A parkour artist assumes that they are being chased where they need to get somewhere as fast as they can. They are able to accomplish this with certain skills and techniques that allow them to be very efficient with their bodies.

Freerunning and Parkour share many of the same moves. The biggest difference between the two disciplines would basically come down to style. With freerunning there are no limitations or right or wrong way of moving through your environment. It's all about the movement and the style that moves you through your environment.

That is why with freerunning you see many of the athletes doing flips and creative movements. Parkour has no flips and creative movements because this goes against the whole idea of being efficient and effective with your body.

MT: Well it sounds all much clearer now, thanks for this Victor. I guess some part of the confusion started when Sebastien practiced freerunning first in the Hung Up video and the press talked about parkour without realizing they are two different disciplines...
Do you remember at what age you started freerunning and how?

VL: When most people find out that I am a freerunner they always love telling me how they used to do it when they were a kid. Every kid loves to run and jump on stuff and climb on trees. So I guess I have been doing it since I was a child.

But professionally, I am happy to say that the Confessions Tour was when I really started to learn how to be a true freerunner.

MT: How did the "Madonna flirting with freerunning thing" start?

VL: The best thing about Madonna is change. She always needs to be different in everything she does. Freerunning just happened to be the next best thing at the time and she jumped on it. Whatever genre or specialty is hot you can bet Madonna is doing it or already has done it.


MT: Freerunning had a very important part in Madonna's Confessions Tour, especially during the Jump number and also in the end of the show right before Hung Up starts when dancers were jumping all over arenas. Do you remember how was it like for you to perform freerunning in front of so huge audiences and their recations to your "jumps"?

VL: Unfortunately, since we are so busy running up and down and flipping everywhere we really do not get a chance to enjoy the moment we are performing. It all goes by in a blur and we were usually so physically tired from our routines. But when we ran through the audience right before Hung Up that was cool because then we were able to share in the excitement of the fans and the concert.


MT: What is your memory of the first day you met Madonna in person?

VL: The first time I met M was at the audition for the tour. I was sitting there stretching and when she came out I felt like she kept starring at me. Haha. I was just so happy to have been chosen and that I was apart of her team that fit in to her grand painting.

MT: Do you recall any funny/interesting things happened behind the scenes while you were rehearsing the show before it started?

VL: Madonna singing happy birthday to Sebastian Foucan was probably the most memorable for me. An icon singing happy birthday to your friend is something you just do not forget.

MT: How was touring with her? "ere you familiar with her music before working with her?

VL: Truthfully, I was never a fan of Madonna. I really never listened to her music unless I just happened to be some place where they were playing it everywhere.

But I consider myself a fan of Madonna the worker, not Madonna the icon. I am a fan of how inspiring and hardworking she is. She knows what she wants out of life and for me that is very rare to find in a person.

: Do you have a favourite moment in the Confessions show?

: Everyday was a favorite moment for me. But when it was my turn to say the prayer right before the show started had to have been my favorite. I was able to express how I appreciated everybody on stage with me and for this opportunity to travel around the world. It just felt good and right that I was able to finally let it out.

MT: In the Madonna show, freerunning has been mixed with dance numbers and more traditional choreographies. Was that something new for you and do you think freerunning can blend well with different disciplines?


VL: Freerunning is already part of the Love show in Vegas which incorporates dance and freerunning movements. Anytime movement is involved, freerunning can be involved just like dancing.

MT: You also took part to the music video for the single Jump, that was shot by Jonas Akerlund in Japan. What do you recall of that experience on the set?

VL: Doing the Jump video was one of the hardest jobs I have ever done prior to that. It was very physically demanding and long shoot day. All of us were already tired from the traveling prior to Tokyo.
To make matters worse, the day of the shoot, it was raining so we could not do all the tricks and moves we really wanted to. That has to have been the hardest thing--not doing the best job you can because outside factors are preventing you.


: And how was working with Jamie King?

VL: Jaime, Stephanie and Tiffany were all very professional and fun to work with. They are the best at what they do and working with them on a daily basis was a great experience.

MT: Madonna is about to start her new tour, and she will be pursuing other ways, do you miss a bit not being on tour with her this time?

VL: I do not miss going on tour with her. My path has led me to a great place and I wouldn't even give it up now for anything--even another Madonna tour. I currently love being a stuntman and professional freerunner. The only thing I do miss are the dancers that I became close with on the tour and I miss hanging out with them.

MT: I saw on YouTube that great new reel you made, can you tell our readers a bit about your current projects?


VL: My current projects that I am working on is a commercial for Mazda, a show called "Time Warp" on the Discovery Channel and some video games that I will be doing Motion Capture for.

I just wrapped up a movie called "Mall Cop" starring Kevin James where I play a punk freerunner who tries to rob a mall with his crew. Of course Kevin James puts us all to shame as the hero who saves the day!

MT: How do you see Madonna fans?
Were they nice to you during the tour?

VL: All I can say is that there aren't fans like Madonna fans. Her fans are the best in the world. They truly appreciate everything that goes into her music and tours.

MT: Victor, before I let you go here's our "classic" wrap-up question tou our guests:What's your fondest memory of Madonna?

VL: When the tour ended and we had our wrap party and Madonna spoke to me in private.
She thanked me for my hardwork and hoped that the tour was inspiring. I will never forget those words and I kind of fed off of her inspiration.

Everyday as a professional freerunner, my team and I try our best to inspire people to particpate in Freerunning with our videos and classes. Madonna is the real reason why I started freerunning and I will never ever forget that.

Lastly, I'd like to send a BIG thanks to Madonna, Stephanie, Tiffany, Jamie, all the tour members, Jeremy Dunn (The Actor's Box), Scott Rogers (Go Stunts), Team Tempest, Fifth Alley (Headwear), Edythe Heus, David Parker, Gymnastics Olympica, and all my family and friends for supporting and believing in me!


"There's only so much you can learn in one place....
the more time that you wait, the more time that you waste." ~Madonna~


To know more about Victor Lopez please visit his team's official website,
and catch them on MySpace at

Check out "I Freerun LA", Tempest Freerunning's latest reel on YouTube.


This interview © 2008 Madonna Tribe.
Special thanks to Heather aka ptdancerpt for her precious help.

Still images from the Jump video, directed by Jonas Akerlund.
Live pictures courtesy of Heather and Enzo.
Tempest Freerunning team shot courtesy of Victor Lopez.


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