DEFYING GRAVITY - Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL performers practise their routine dancing in the sky. Michelle Falk/Red Deer Express

Cirque de Soleil comes to Red Deer for first time

Crystal is the first on-ice production for Cirque

Cirque du Soleil makes its inaugural stop in Red Deer, debuting Crystal — their first ever show on-ice.

“They’ve never tackled the element of the ice before, this is a brand new show for them and a brand new surface,” said Shawn Sawyer, Canadian figure skater.

Cirque du Soleil organizers have been interested in creating a show on ice for several years, according to the show’s publicist Julie Desmarais, but they have been waiting for the opportunity to get all the experts in figure skating and acrobatics together to collaborate on the production.

Bringing the two art forms together posed a many challenges, but Cirque has done it again marrying the unusual pair so seamlessly the combination looks intuitive.

“They obviously expect to see the ice, but I don’t think they expect how well we blend the ice skating and the acrobatics — we are performing as one unit, not as skating (on one hand) and acrobats (on the other),” said Sawyer.

Everyone learned how to skate for the performance, even the jugglers and the figure skaters had to learn how to do aerial acrobatics. The performers all developed whole new muscles groups.

The end result makes it look easy, but the new surface posed a number of challenges for the team behind the production too.

The aerial acrobatics cannot safely be done wearing skates, so Cirque designers made special shoes with spikes for them to wear, so they don’t slip on the ice or cut themselves. Features like these shoes are constantly being tweaked as they go, adjusting to ensure the best result and safety.

Another challenge is adjusting for each venue, because this has never been done before and what is available for the aerial acrobatics system varies a lot with each venue.

All in all audiences are in for a treat, with the pre-show rehearsal featuring an acrobat gracefully spins from aerial ribbons, floating through the air effortlessly. He then swooped down and caught a skater with his toes, lifting her meters above the ice as if she were as light as a feather.

There are 40 artists in the cast of Crystal, representing eleven nationalities, with a few Canadians among them. Most of the cast is new to Cirque du Soleil.

Red Deer and Medicine Hat are the only two cities in Alberta included in this tour of Crystal. Red Deer is the 22nd city along the tour.

 

AERIAL ICE EXPERIENCE - Nobahar Dabui, playing Crystal, and Jerome Sordillon spin high above the ice entiwined in aerial straps. Michelle Falk/Red Deer Express

FINAL CHECKS - Jerome Sordillon, an aerial specialist with CRYSTAL, conducts valedation on equipment before the premiere show of Cirque du Soliel in Red Deer. Michelle Falk/Red Deer Express

OPENING NIGHT REHEARSAL - Nobahar Dadui, who plays Crystal, and Jerome Sordillon, aerial strap specialist, enact a romantic scene from the “breakthrough ice experience” in a practise before opening night. Michelle Falk/Red Deer Express

Just Posted

Lacombe County Highlights – Aug. 9th, 2018

Highlights of the regular council meeting August 9, 2018

Blackfalds RCMP warns of ‘repo’ scammers

Blackfalds RCMP responds to two males attempting to steal utility vehicle

Harvest safety reminders from Lacombe County

Harvest season is busy and can be stressful. Pay close attention to fatigue, drowsiness and illness

Lacombe Council passes second reading of cannabis bylaw

Public hearing sees opposition to bylaw; third reading coming Sept. 10th

City looking to invest $750,000 into Lacombe Market Square

First reading of bylaw given to help bridge the gap between developers

WATCH: Ellis Bird Farm hosts annual Bug Jamboree

Visitors enjoyed getting up close and personal with butterflies, beetles and bees

Special air quality statement in effect for Central Alberta

Wildfire smoke from B.C. covering 95 per cent of the province

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge sent dozens of cars and three trucks plunging as much as 45 metres (150 feet) to the ground Tuesday.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Most Read