Acrobats dressed in vibrant winter attire graced their ice palace of a stage with front flips, back flips and double axel jumps and much more. 

May 2 was the premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s performance of “Crystal.” This show was the first time Cirque du Soleil has incorporated ice into a performance. The show will be in town until Sunday at the Spokane Arena.

Even before the official beginning of the show, the audience was thoroughly entertained as an ice clown threw snowballs into the crowd and children shrieked in delight and fascination. Lively music from a small group of fast and upbeat fiddles and guitars played to the audience’s delight. Skaters roamed the ice whooshing around and around the ice stage playing ice hockey. The skaters, dressed in oversized sweaters and large floppy warm hats with frizzy pompoms on the end nonchalantly jumped over benches that were place around the ice.

The show incorporated classic circus features such as juggling, clowns, acrobatics and precarious chair stacking but all of this was performed on ice. 

The set consisted of a massive angular structure which resembled ice and had slides and stairs encapsulated within it and a large ice rink stage.

The show began with a montage of the main character Crystal being judged and scolded throughout moments of her life. These images appear to be haunting moments of her past. This was projected in dramatic red light on the large ice like contraption which loomed as the background to the ice stage.

Crystal had a wild mane of wavy red locks and sported a blue shirt paired with a pleated plaid blue skirt and long red scarf.

She ventured off onto the ice skating alone and was blindsided when the ice beneath her cracked and she was transported to an alternate universe which appeared otherworldly and dangerous yet exciting and intriguing.

In the alternate universe scenes from her home life were shown which appeared to be boring and routine, clearly taunting her. 

 Constant voice-overs of Crystal’s powerful and confidently booming voice which trickled from the speakers to the audience periodically. In addition, vibrant images and colors constantly projected on to the ice stage and were skated over.

 At one point in the show, Crystal’s voiceover projected “I’m someone else. I’m someone in a new place.”

At one point, there was a clarinet player who seemed to effortlessly skate and play a complicated melody at the same time. Talk about multitasking. Another time there was a grand piano decorated to look like a large ice block which glided across the stage while someone played it and crystal danced on top.

A noticeable character other than Crystal was the comedic ice clown who made unforgettable appearances in many scenes. He had the ability to make the audience laugh simply with his goofy facial expressions and spastic clumsy ways. Someone from the crowd even yelled “he messed up!” when his cart toppled over.

A unique and unexpected aspect which made an appearance in the show a couple times was the element of dance. Even in skates, a dance number resembling tap occurred on top of a ramp. There was also a particular music sequence which began with a simple Irish light jig, which gradually intensified, played on a fiddle accompanied by a dance sequence that had quick and intricate footwork.

“I loved the synchronization of the dancing and the juggling comedy, that was a great transition,” Debbie Smith from Colbert, Washington said. “I loved the action, the action was cool. During the trapeze swinging thing, all I could say was ‘whoa.’ ”    

A standout moment in the show was when a slow acoustic cover of the song “Chandelier” by Sia played while Crystal swung from a trapeze weaving in twisted spins and flips between transitions on the trapeze bar. She did this all in skates. 

There was a shift in the show from delicate and graceful careful technique skating into more power speed skating style. This began when acrobats skateboarded across the ice. The high intensity portion revolved around nearly a dozen curved ramps similar to the ones which are common at skateboard parks. Skaters shot on and over the ramps one after another doing tricks every which way. 

“The extreme ice skaters going over the ramps and the ice, that was unexpected and very exciting I thought,” Zach McBournie said.

A comedic portion of the show occurred when three men competed for a lady’s attention by each putting on a show to impress her. One of them spun, flipped and then ripped his shirt open doing belly rolls attempting to catch her admiration. Another man who was vying for her attention did an impressive leap and then whipped out a small bouquet of flowers handing them to an astonished elderly woman sitting in the front row. The other man did a lap around the stage flexing and doing Usain Bolt’s signature power stance. This was met with giggles from the audience.

A romantic sequence in the show began with a voiceover of Crystal wondering “Who is the someone I could share my heart with?” Couples figure skated in a sappy peach colored light, waltzing on the ice and spinning clinging to each other for dear life. The romantic section also included aerial dancing involving a long rope-like scarf and an intimate trapeze duet between Crystal and a man which relied on pure strength.

“I really enjoyed the tricks and the theatrics and the ‘oh my gosh’ moments,” audience member Sadie McBournie from Spokane said. I liked anything on the trapeze because you weren’t sure if they were going to fall off or make it or not, but they all did!”

At the end, Crystal broke through the ice emerging back into reality and cheerfully and emotionally reunites with her family.

The cast truly had to know how to do it all from long dance sequences, to trapeze, to balancing acts, and skating, acrobatics and juggling.

People of all ages attended. From toddlers to teenagers to grandparents the faces in the audience were awestruck. Adults seemed to morph back into kids as they ooed and awed at the flips and swift turns which captivated the stage.

“I love it, it was all fascinating, I don’t know that I can pick out just one thing that was my favorite, it was just great!” Anita Axtell from Spirit Lake, Idaho said.

Throughout the show, the audience clapped, gasped, yelped and giggled.

“Its beyond awesome, it’s just a thrill to be able to watch these folks. We were offered tickets by a friend and we didn’t hesitate,” Smith from said.

 Juliette Carey is a staff writer. 

Acrobats dressed in vibrant winter attire graced their ice palace of a stage with front flips, back flips and double axel jumps and much more.

May 2 was the premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s performance of “Crystal.” This show was the first time Cirque du Soleil has incorporated ice into a performance. The show will be in town until Sunday at the Spokane Arena.

Even before the official beginning of the show, the audience was thoroughly entertained as an ice clown threw snowballs into the crowd and children shrieked in delight and fascination. Lively music from a small group of fast and upbeat fiddles and guitars played to the audience’s delight. Skaters roamed the ice whooshing around and around the ice stage playing ice hockey. The skaters, dressed in oversized sweaters and large floppy warm hats with frizzy pompoms on the end nonchalantly jumped over benches that were place around the ice.

The show incorporated classic circus features such as juggling, clowns, acrobatics and precarious chair stacking but all of this was performed on ice.

The set consisted of a massive angular structure which resembled ice and had slides and stairs encapsulated within it and a large ice rink stage.

The show began with a montage of the main character Crystal being judged and scolded throughout moments of her life. These images appear to be haunting moments of her past. This was projected in dramatic red light on the large ice like contraption which loomed as the background to the ice stage.

Crystal had a wild mane of wavy red locks and sported a blue shirt paired with a pleated plaid blue skirt and long red scarf.

She ventured off onto the ice skating alone and was blindsided when the ice beneath her cracked and she was transported to an alternate universe which appeared otherworldly and dangerous yet exciting and intriguing.

In the alternate universe scenes from her home life were shown which appeared to be boring and routine, clearly taunting her.

 Constant voice-overs of Crystal’s powerful and confidently booming voice which trickled from the speakers to the audience periodically. In addition, vibrant images and colors constantly projected on to the ice stage and were skated over.

At one point in the show, Crystal’s voiceover projected “I’m someone else. I’m someone in a new place.”

At one point, there was a clarinet player who seemed to effortlessly skate and play a complicated melody at the same time. Talk about multitasking. Another time there was a grand piano decorated to look like a large ice block which glided across the stage while someone played it and crystal danced on top.

A noticeable character other than Crystal was the comedic ice clown who made unforgettable appearances in many scenes. He had the ability to make the audience laugh simply with his goofy facial expressions and spastic clumsy ways. Someone from the crowd even yelled “he messed up!” when his cart toppled over.

A unique and unexpected aspect which made an appearance in the show a couple times was the element of dance. Even in skates, a dance number resembling tap occurred on top of a ramp. There was also a particular music sequence which began with a simple Irish light jig, which gradually intensified, played on a fiddle accompanied by a dance sequence that had quick and intricate footwork.

“I loved the synchronization of the dancing and the juggling comedy, that was a great transition,” Debbie Smith from Colbert, Washington said. “I loved the action, the action was cool. During the trapeze swinging thing, all I could say was ‘whoa.’ ”   

A standout moment in the show was when a slow acoustic cover of the song “Chandelier” by Sia played while Crystal swung from a trapeze weaving in twisted spins and flips between transitions on the trapeze bar. She did this all in skates.

There was a shift in the show from delicate and graceful careful technique skating into more power speed skating style. This began when acrobats skateboarded across the ice. The high intensity portion revolved around nearly a dozen curved ramps similar to the ones which are common at skateboard parks. Skaters shot on and over the ramps one after another doing tricks every which way.

“The extreme ice skaters going over the ramps and the ice, that was unexpected and very exciting I thought,” Zach McBournie said.

A comedic portion of the show occurred when three men competed for a lady’s attention by each putting on a show to impress her. One of them spun, flipped and then ripped his shirt open doing belly rolls attempting to catch her admiration. Another man who was vying for her attention did an impressive leap and then whipped out a small bouquet of flowers handing them to an astonished elderly woman sitting in the front row. The other man did a lap around the stage flexing and doing Usain Bolt’s signature power stance. This was met with giggles from the audience.

A romantic sequence in the show began with a voiceover of Crystal wondering “Who is the someone I could share my heart with?” Couples figure skated in a sappy peach colored light, waltzing on the ice and spinning clinging to each other for dear life. The romantic section also included aerial dancing involving a long rope-like scarf and an intimate trapeze duet between Crystal and a man which relied on pure strength.

“I really enjoyed the tricks and the theatrics and the ‘oh my gosh’ moments,” audience member Sadie McBournie from Spokane said. I liked anything on the trapeze because you weren’t sure if they were going to fall off or make it or not, but they all did!”

At the end, Crystal broke through the ice emerging back into reality and cheerfully and emotionally reunites with her family.

The cast truly had to know how to do it all from long dance sequences, to trapeze, to balancing acts, and skating, acrobatics and juggling.

People of all ages attended. From toddlers to teenagers to grandparents the faces in the audience were awestruck. Adults seemed to morph back into kids as they ooed and awed at the flips and swift turns which captivated the stage.

“I love it, it was all fascinating, I don’t know that I can pick out just one thing that was my favorite, it was just great!” Anita Axtell from Spirit Lake, Idaho said.

Throughout the show, the audience clapped, gasped, yelped and giggled.

“Its beyond awesome, it’s just a thrill to be able to watch these folks. We were offered tickets by a friend and we didn’t hesitate,” Smith from said.

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