Crystal hockey

Cirque Du Soleil’s “Crystal” – An Awesome Ice Spectacular

**** Highly Recommended **** Cirque du Soleil’s “Crystal” was here and gone way too quickly, but I’m sure it will be back. Cirque’s first venture onto ice, made for a totally unique experience, a blend of Cirque’s themed stories and incredible feats of human skills with the speed and skills of ice skaters. I found myself gasping in awe more than once. 4 BIG Spotlights

The story is built around Crystal (Nbahar Dadui, Canada), a young woman who is out of sync with the people around her. As she’s trying to find herself, she fell through the ice into the world of her own imagination. As she skates through this alternate reality, she sees her own Reflection (Madeline Stammen, USA), gracefully skating along with a troop of trick skaters wearing hoodies.

As in most Cirque performances, a comic character (Nathan Cooper, USA) provides a distraction for the audience whenever scenery (which are easily pushed on and off the ice) is moved. During one scene, he peddles a vehicle which looks a lot like the old-fashioned bicycle-ice cream vendor’s ride, ringing its bell.

In another scene, set to klezmer-infused music, he parallels Juggler (Jorge Petit, Chile), just not juggling quite as well. On another pass-through on the bicycle-ice cream cart, he crashes and the cart flies apart. Picking up a glowing lighted ball, he placed it on the end of a pole, creating a streetlight which he pushes around the ice. Joining him, Crystal wraps her scarf around the pole.

Another Crystal (Danica Gagnon-Plamondon, Canada) had me gasping as she stood on a trapeze swinging high above the ice wearing skates! She not only swung on that trapeze, she did a series of amazingly scary release moves.

On a school playground, Crystal interrupted a hockey game. Three of the players, extreme skaters Dean Moriarity (Canada), Kevin Lapierre (Canada) and Martin Barrau (France), sped around the ice at breakneck speed using ramps to do crazy flips, twists and jumps. At the end of their routine, the ice turned into a giant pinball game.

Tumblers did synchronized pole climbs and pole-to-pole jumps. They would up with flying dismounts onto mattresses. There was a kind of tap dance on skates involving business people – three men and one woman – who threw their briefcases to Crystal while they did intricate technical skating with microphones on their skates.

Crystal joined pair skaters, Andy Buchanan (Canada), Robin Johnstone (Canada), Silja Dos Reis (France), Stuart Widdalll-Gutierrez (UK) and Dmitry Semykin (Russia), in a romantic number called Courtship. As they were wrapping up the pairs, Crystal (Emily McCarthy, UK) performed an Aerial Strap Pas de Deux with Jerome Sordillon (France).

More information about “Crystal” can be found at www.cirquedusoleil.com/crystal.

Read all of my reviews at www.spotlightonlake.com.