Saturday, November 18, 2017

REVIEW: Cirque du Soleil's Multifaceted Crystal Shines

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Cirque du Soleil Fuses Excitement, Breathtaking Artistry and
Unique Creativity with Ice in
Crystal
A Breakthrough Ice Experience
To be presented at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates,
in six performances only, November 16-19, 2017

This past Friday, my whole family headed out to Chicago's suburbs for Cirque du Soleil's Crystal. If you're going, do leave extra time. Sears Centre is serious about safety and searches every bag, and sends every ticket holder through a metal detector. Once we passed a near TSA level security gauntlet, I was elated to find a kiosk to the right with Starbucks coffee. My husband headed for the beer sales and the teens were happy with giant pretzels. With snack and drinks in hand, we were ready for a circus arts spectacle.

Crystal delivered on stellar talent, stunning projected graphics, an a cool ice castle set complete with ramps for skate tricks. Though my 14 year old daughter thought the skating to aerial arts ratio was too high for her taste, the skating was fast and phenomenal. She says Crystal needs more silks. 







Favorites of ours were the bounce juggling act, the giant pinball machine/hockey number, the Chinese Pole stunts, and the impressive straps act. 






In general, we prefer Cirque du Soleil's intimate tent shows over the arena shows, since they have a cozier vibe and stick around in each city for so much longer. Yet Crystal has the big acts and visuals to play to a giant arena audience and keep everyone's interest. I can honestly say I've never seen someone rock a trapeze act with such style while wearing ice skates, nonetheless! 



We also enjoyed the girl power plot, and the idea of the many facets of self. Young girls today need more large scale productions with protagonists they can identify with, and it was a joy to follow Crystal on her coming of age adventure.  



Crystal is more contemporary and pop influenced in choreography and music than many of Cirque du Soleil's earlier offerings that come across as more classical. We thought the dance moves and circus choreography worked well. 
If there's a weak link it's the music. Even my teens who listen to current pop weren't fans of the show using hits like Chandelier by Sia and Beyonce's Halo among others. Cirque du Soleil is famous for live orchestras on stage playing original scores, and the lyrics laden known hits were distracting. There were a few parts for one live musician at a time, accompanying the recorded tunes but it was underwhelming. 

Despite a few drawbacks, we definitely recommend seeing Crystal. This ice show/circus show hybrid is unique and the caliber of the acts and technical effects far surpass that of other contemporary ice shows on tour. Catch them while you can!



Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to venture into uncharted territory with its brand new creation, Cirque du Soleil Crystal, exploring the artistic attributes of ice for the very first time. Specifically created for arenas, the state-of-the-art production will create a fresh innovative experience, pushing the boundaries once again by combining outstanding skating and sliding, remarkable aesthetics and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination.




“We are excited to create a unique entertainment experience on ice for all spectators to enjoy. It's a wonderful opportunity for Cirque du Soleil as ice provides us with an entirely new field of play which also comes with a set of creative challenges. Our goal is to continuously surprise audiences by showcasing all the incredible possibilities on ice,” explained Yasmine Khalil, Executive Producer of Crystal.





Crystal will follow a young woman who shatters through reality to reach a surreal world filled with possibility. Beneath the surface, she pursues the life that has been glistening within. Sometimes, we must first leave solid ground to find our true footing.

Cirque du Soleil invites the audience to discover Crystal – A Breakthrough Ice Experience – and find out what it means to skate on the edge of reality.




Performance Schedule & Ticket Information
Cirque du Soleil Crystal will be presented at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates, IL in six performances only, November 16-19, 2017. Performances take place Thursday - Friday, November 16-17, at 7:30pm; Saturday, November 18, at 3:30 & 7:30pm; and Sunday, November 19, at 1 & 5pm.

Tickets for Cirque du Soleil Crystal start at $30.00 and go on sale Wednesday, June 21, at 10am by phone at 888-SEARSTIX (732-7784) or online by visiting www.searscentre.com.


Forsythe Technology is the Official Sponsor of Crystal in the United States




Cirque du Soleil
Crystal is Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd original production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 180 million spectators in more than 450 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has over 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from 50 different countries.
For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.
More information about Crystal by Cirque du Soleil can be found atcirquedusoleil.com/crystal, and on  Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows have been partnering up with Cirque du Soleil for years, on Chicago area promotions, giveaways and reviews. Once again, we have been given complimentary tickets for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.



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