ice skating

Cirque du Soleil Crystal in Tampa, Florida

Guest post by my son Elliott and daughter Alice

I like to imagine there was once a conversation that went something like this:
“We have a bunch of talented people performing various dangerous acts. How could we make it more exciting?”
“Blades on their feet?”
“Yes… Blades on their feet!”
And from that Crystal was born.

Ok, it probably didn’t go like that, but Crystal flawlessly brings everything you love about Cirque to the ice. In the best way possible, there is so much going on during certain scenes that it’s warranted to suggest seeing the show twice in order to appreciate the skills that each artist displays individually. Without giving away too much, I saw an act or two that I had never seen before elsewhere (despite having been to multiple Cirque and wannabe shows) and ALL performances went above and beyond what I’ve seen and expected! The Cirque Du Soleil artists never fail to push their limits. Even the work of the tech crew seems to be mind-boggling difficult and intricate.

Tying these acts together is a lovely storyline that follows the “in her head a little too much” main character, Crystal, and her journey of self-discovery. Each individual act gives more to the plot and, unlike past Cirque shows, are performed to modern pop songs you might recognize!

This cirque show had more costume changes than any other show I’ve ever seen. Some artists made between 3-6 costume changes! Each one was delicately designed for atmospheric context as well as emotional context. Many of the female characters had specially designed costumes that appeared to be skirts but were discreetly pleated shorts to allow the artists to perform. This unique costume design was a detail that allowed them to really transform between characters. In most ice-skating performances there are two designs that a performer wears- a tight body suit or a thin, short skirt. I loved that cirque was able to go above and beyond even in the costume and props departments – some items were only on stage for a few short minutes but helped set the scene.

Despite all the new, the show still reminded me of other Cirque shows. There were some parallels between Crystal that were in Volta as well as the late show Wintuk. Not the same acts, but rather, small details that connected the shows and made me question whether these shows exist in the same universe. There were also some nods to Alice in Wonderland.

Something that I feel gets overlooked often in Cirque show reviews are the clowns. While Crystal only has one true clown (played by Nate Cooper), he did a great job in captivating the audience even before the show began. I was worried that the ice would limit his abilities to interact with both the audience and the characters, but his physical acting helped bring the audience into the atmosphere and made you feel like you were in the story too.

Cirque Crystal will remain at the Amelie Arena in Tampa, Florida, now through Sunday evening. Show dates around the country and beyond are posted on their website through Sept. 2019. It’s a great show to see this holiday season with friends or family if you’re looking for a little laughter, a little magic, and a lot of “WOW!”

Our family received 4 free tickets to the show in exchange for these honest comments. #ad

Cirque du Soleil returns to Tampa Bay with CRYSTAL

Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd show – CRYSTAL – is coming to Tampa in December 2018. This is a unique show due to it being the first ever ice production Cirque du Soleil has done!  #hosted

Be taken on a journey into a surreal world where synchronized and freestyle figure skating blend with acrobatics, aerial feats and circus acts. Watch world-class ice skaters explore a frozen playground with never-before-seen acrobatics in a stunning new production.

The story behind the show: The creative young woman, Crystal, a misfit heroine, will take you on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Feel the adrenaline as she falls through the ice into an upside down, surreal world to become what she was always destined to be: confident, liberated, and empowered. CRYSTAL invites you to set aside reality and drift into a world that springs to vibrant life with astounding visual projections and a soundtrack that blends popular music with the signature sound of Cirque du Soleil. The show is about looking at things from fresh angles and reframing one’s daily reality to see what one might have missed. Discovering one’s individuality occasionally requires venturing out on thin ice. (Yep, I went there!)

Fun fact: Eleven different nationalities are represented in the cast.

CRYSTAL performances will be in Tampa, Florida, at the Amalie Arena from Wednesday, December 19 through 23, 2018 –  for 7 shows. Tickets went on sale Saturday, September 8. The show is suitable for all ages. Buy tickets online here. 

Cirque Club members may still be able to get some seats at a discounted price. Check the Club website for details. Cirque Club membership is free and benefits includes access to advance tickets, special offers, and exclusive behind-the-scenes information. (I’ve been a member for about six years.)

Check back next month… in November I’ll have a giveaway of Cirque tickets for a reader or 2!

If you love to cosplay, Crystal has flamboyant red hair, is clad in a vintage, blue, plaid skirt and a light turquoise cardigan-style shirt and a red scarf. She is creative, unpretentious and loves to write.

Fun fact: More than 180 million spectators have seen a Cirque du Soleil show since 1984!

For more details and to get a glimpse, follow #CRYSTAL and @cirquedusoleil on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | BUY TICKETS NOW

Photo credits: Matt Beard / Costumes: Marie Chantale Vaillancourt / 2018 Cirque du Soleil

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