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

Oil and Gas researcher Vivian Krause to speak in Lacombe

UCP fundraiser brings in researcher claiming to expose dirty American lobby money in Canada

MNP Canada Games Torch Relay coming to Lacombe

Torchbearers will carry the torch on a 4.64 km loop around Cranna Lake

Eagles soar over Lacombe Generals in 4-3 OT win

Generals will look for revenge on Wednesday at home against Innisfail

Blackfalds moves forward with seniors housing project

Public engagement meeting requests applications for plus-55 housing development

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Jason Kenney disputes expense allegations while MP

Questions over his residential expense claims from his time as a cabinet minister in Ottawa

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

Most Read