Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL comes to the Seattle area

Crystal Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL was as amazing as I had hoped. My daughter and I had been counting down the weeks and then the days until Crystal opened at the Angel of the Winds Arena north of Seattle, and it absolutely did not disappoint.

With 43 cast members, both extreme and freestyle skating, acrobatics, juggling, as well as live music {including some pop songs that are seamlessly blended with the signature Cirque du Soleil sound}, it isn’t really a surprise that it was amazing. But, I didn’t know just how wonderful it would be, and I was blown away by all that ice could bring to the Cirque du Soleil family.CRYSTAL skating

About CRYSTAL from Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL is in Everett, WA at Angel of the Winds Arena this week. Running April 10-14th, 2019, this newest installment from Cirque du Soleil takes to the ice for the very first time. CRYSTAL is Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd creation, and like all of their unique productions, it pushes boundaries of performance by combining stunning skating and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination.

CRYSTAL is the first Cirque show that incorporates ice, and I don’t know what I was expecting, but what they did with it was so beyond what I could fathom that I just sat their awestruck for two hours. Like all Cirque shows, CRYSTAL has amazing special effects, but this show was able to do so much thanks to digital projections on the ice that helped guide you through the story.CRYSTAL acrobatics

These projections and the voice overs during the performance made it so easy to follow, while still having all the mystery that you love when you sit down for a Cirque performance. Because of the easy-to-follow storyline and the projections that helped the story unfold, the nuances of the dancers and performers were caught by even the littlest viewer. Hearing my littlest replay the story to friends and family all day long is admittedly adorable, but each time I’m surprised by how much of the story she really caught.

Because of this, I would say this is the family-friendliest Cirque performance we’ve ever seen, and the kids fully agree. Whereas any play can be challenging for a kiddo to pick up on, Cirque’s unique way of telling a story through dance and acrobatics is more than a challenge. CRYSTAL accepted that challenge, and the result is stunning and beautiful,as well as truly being all-ages.CRYSTAL hockey

I got a chance to interview two people from the CRYSTAL production last month at the Seattle Media Day and loved talking with Julie Desmarais and Jorge Petit.  I loved hearing how excited they were for the new show and bringing CRYSTAL to life in the Seattle area.CRYSTAL juggling

This is Jorge Petit’s first touring show with Cirque du Soleil and watching him in action in CRYSTAL was really amazing. A man of many talents, Jorge excels at the cyr wheel, dancing hip hop, and of course, his famous juggling that brought him into the Cirque family. I bet you’re thinking you already know what his routine looks like having seen jugglers in the past, but I can promise you that you won’t. Jorge has a rhythm all his own and his juggling routine plays off of this perfectly. Trust me.

Jorge Petit, juggles in Cirque Du Soleil Crystal in Covelli Centre

Julie is the publicist for CRYSTAL and her excitement about the production was positively contagious. Hearing about how CRYSTAL combines different styles of skating, acrobatics, and dance as well as digital media that projects on the ice, was so cool. After seeing it in action, I was absolutely blown away by how the Cirque team takes a simple arena of ice and makes it something truly magical. Each show is so different and special, but yet still manages to have the same Cirque magic, and this element of ice made it so far over the top that there just aren’t words to describe it.

Background of CRYSTAL from Cirque du Soleil

CRYSTAL invites you to suspend reality and glide into a world that springs to a colorful life with astounding visual projections and an original score that seamlessly blends popular music with the signature sound of Cirque du Soleil. CRYSTAL features an international cast composed of figure, extreme and freestyle ice skaters, acrobats, musicians, and of course, a comic character. Eleven different nationalities are represented in the cast.CRYSTAL family

Watch as world-class ice skaters and acrobats take their new frozen playground with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with never-before-seen acrobatics. Follow Crystal, the lead character, on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Crystal is a creative young woman who feels misunderstood and out of sync with herself. To escape her reality, she ventures out on a frozen pond and falls through the ice into an upside world.

In this underwater world of her imagination she sees a reflection of herself. Her reflection guides her through this new world and wakes her up to her own creativity. As Crystal continues her journey she turns her quirks into creativity with the stroke of her pen. With this newfound power, she is able to find her true self and journey back up to reality.CRYSTAL Cirque du Soleil

The show CRYSTAL is about looking at things from fresh angles, peeking through the veneer of everyday life, reframing one’s daily reality to see what one might have missed. Sometimes the only way to appreciate things is to look at them sideways. Discovering one’s individuality and uniqueness requires venturing out on thin ice.

Melding circus arts and ice sports – blurring the boundaries

With this new creation, Cirque du Soleil explores the essence of skating, bringing its signature style of acrobatics into unchartered territory – ICE. In CRYSTAL, gymnasts and skaters perform acrobatics on the ice and in the air, seamlessly combining multiple disciplines together. Synchronized skating, freestyle figures, and extreme skating are featured alongside circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze, aerial straps, and hand to hand. Figure skaters learned how to be pushers on Chinese poles, while circus artists learned how to skate, and extreme skaters learned figure skating moves.CRYSTAL chairs

CRYSTAL set design

A living scrapbook – In a décor that can be described as “vintage poetic,” the Crystal stage evokes a town square next to a frozen pond. Upstage is a huge quartz wall that contains all the familiar places in Crystal’s life in which she experiences meaningful moments through a series of flashbacks.CRYSTAL Cirque du Soleil

Effects of scale and perspective – On top of the wall is a miniature train that travels to the various places in the story through a series of temporal shifts. Inside the wall, effects of scale reinforce the idea that we are in a world of memories and flashbacks.

A frozen playground – On the ice, the show’s versatile stage changes from a schoolyard to a playground to a giant pinball machine to an office tower in a big city, in large part due to the use of video projections and props.CRYSTAL Cirque du Soleil

Crystal’s pen is a fountain of imagination – The world of Crystal spills from its main character’s pen. Cut-outs, origami, streams of paper, and pop-ups of all sorts are some of the features that make up the show’s visual aesthetics as Crystal navigates through her imaginary world of skewed perspectives.

CRYSTAL’s music

The music of Crystal is cinematic in scope while supporting the narrative and pulsing to the rhythm of the action on, “below”, and above the ice. With its sweeping, atmospheric and romantic soundscapes, the score moves from grand orchestral sounds to klezmer-style chamber music to melodic folk and rock tinged beats.CRYSTAL Cirque du Soleil

Stirring emotions through music – Cover versions of well-known pop songs specifically recorded for the show were added to Cirque du Soleil’s signature-style music – a first for Cirque du Soleil. These riveting songs were added to stir the emotions of spectators and enhance key moments in the narrative. The interpreters were chosen not only for their ability to capture the feeling of the original songs, but also to heighten the emotional charge of the scenes they accompany, thus adding the “Cirque du Soleil touch” to the songs themselves.

To buy tickets, visit Cirque du Soleil.

Be sure to follow Cirque: Facebook, Twitter @Cirque, Instagram and You Tube:

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.