It’s Cirque du Soleil like you’ve never seen it before. The famous company’s very first performance on ice, Crystal, combines classic acrobatics with world-class skating, resulting in a stunning show. The company will perform at the Royal Farms Arena July 5-8, captivating Baltimore audiences with breathtaking choreography and thrilling stunts.
The show revolves around a woman named Crystal, who’s a bit of a “mystic and doesn’t feel that she fits in,” explains Julie Demarais, publicist for Crystal. “She lands in an imaginary world where she meets her alter ego who convinces her to be her true self.” Along her journey, she meets several different characters who help to guide and push her to become what she was always destined to be (no spoilers!). These characters come in all shapes and sizes, starting off as mere shadows and later transforming to people who encourage and help her realize her potential.
But while the story is engaging, it’s the stunning choreography and stunts that stand out. Cirque had been interested in working on ice for several years, Demarais says, before the show premiered in December of 2017. The purpose of Crystal is to “create a show that is unique and combines the best ingredients of acrobatics, dance, theater, and skating. Cirque du Soleil is always striving to push the boundaries of performance.”
There are 89 cast and crew members involved in the production. Eleven different nationalities are represented, including Canadian Shawn Sawyer, an Olympic athlete who participated in the 2006 Torino Games as a member of the Canadian figure skating team and later began exploring the performative side of skating.
“I took the competitive route,” he said. “It is hard to compare the professional shows [that I did] with Crystal because everything has evolved. I have evolved from an athlete into an artist but also [have] been able to marry the two together here at Crystal.”
Through Cirque, he says, he has learned a whole new vocabulary of acrobatics and, with the help of his coaches and castmates, taken his career to the next level. “I have not only blossomed into a better skater but also a Cirque du Soleil performer.”
Crystal’s risk-taking and cutting-edge innovation, from the multitalented cast to the complex costumes, lighting and set design, it is the hallmark of contemporary performance art. Don’t miss it.
Tickets $51-$120. cirquedusoleil.com/crystal