By Erin Fleming
I want to live in a book,
In a song,
In the sky,
In the future.
So muses the misunderstood, artistic introvert, Crystal, whose poetic yearning for something more, something other is the story behind Cirque du Soleil’s first ever show on ice, Cirque du Soleil Crystal, a thrilling, state-of-the-art production designed specifically for arenas.
From the moment when Crystal falls through the ice, hanging, suspended, under water (and yet somehow in mid-air) – to the very end, the show is punctuated by gasps taken by the entire audience.
It’s acrobatics. It’s dance. It’s poetry. It’s Hans Christian Andersen. It’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s Narnia. It’s the Nutcracker. It’s Swan Lake -frozen over. It’s ON ICE.
It’s playing this weekend only at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates, and is absolutely worth a last minute scramble for tickets.
Cirque fans and newcomers of all ages will delight in the remarkable athletic feats and gorgeous lighting and music that the company is known for – as per usual there is clowning and juggling and dancing and tumbling. But the real surprises are the seemingly impossible executions of high-octane, gravity-defying choreography on the ice. ON ICE! At one point, the stage is transformed into a life size, hockey-themed pinball machine, where human flippers on skates fly up and down huge ramps, flipping, twisting and jumping in mid air while tossing silver balls at one another. ON ICE!
In a show full of breath-taking moments, it’s hard to single out a favorite – but the contender is the Home Swing sequence. Crystal soars above the landscapes of her everyday life on the trapeze to Cia’s Chandelier, accompanied by the extraordinary violinist Lucine Zirekyants. There is also a point in the second act where a man balances unbelievably atop a tower of chairs. On. Ice.
The show runs about two hours with a 20-minute intermission. Small children will be constantly engaged by the fast pace, physical comedy and playful crowd interactions involving snow balls – and also that the set is reminiscent of Frozen. The Sears Center unfortunately has poorly organized security check-in lines, very snug seating and overpriced concessions – so that part of the experience is a bit too much like the down side of flying.
But those who can overcome those inconveniences are in for the perfect start of a magical holiday season.
Cirque du Soleil presents “Crystal” through November 19 at the Sears Centre, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy, Hoffman Estates. More information and tickets are available here.