WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Crystal,” the new Cirque du Soleil show skated into the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 5, mingling world class ice skating with acrobatics and stunning aerial feats.
Directed by Shana Carroll and Sébastien Soldevila, the show tells the story of a misfit teenager (Nobahar Dadui) who falls through the ice into a surreal world where she goes on a journey of self-discovery. In this world of her own imagination, aided by a reflection of herself, she becomes what she always was destined to be: confident, curious and creative.
The show features figure skating, ice dancing and hockey, along with break dancing and even tap dancing on ice. Acrobats perform juggling, pole-to-pole jumps and daring Russian style swing dismounts. One highlight of the show is the synchronized, freestyle and extreme skating that features skaters flying over skateboard-like ramps.
Despite these thrills, the first part of the show seems void of any major wow factor, and it is only towards the end of the first act that the show kicks into seriously high gear. A spell-binding aerial straps /skating pas de deux is performed with the title character being gracefully lifted into the air during a ballroom scene. French acrobat Jérôme Sordillo is the aerialist, and the moment is magical.
Unlike many other Cirque du Soleil productions with its signature big-top tent, “Crystal” was designed to be performed in large arenas or stadium. As a result, the familiar intimacy of a smaller space may not fit the taste of some Cirque fans.
However, the astounding visual projections and a musical soundtrack that blends popular music (ie: Beyonce’s Halo) makes up the difference. Other musical genres such as jazz, klezmer and folk are performed by three musicians, who happily keep the show flowing alone.
From a technical standpoint, “Crystal” is simply ingenious. To create synthetic ice for the ramps traversed by the skaters, a plan was cleverly designed by the design team. The team also created a stunning visual illusion using video response. From time-to-time, beautiful swirls and writing appear on the ice, creating pieces of art right before our eyes.
Cirque du Soleil’s “Crystal” is suitable for all age groups, and although the present show ends Dc. 9th, the production will return to the area in March 2019.
For tickets, tickets, visit cirquedusoleil.com.