‘CRYSTAL’, The Only Cirque du Soleil On Ice! At Ball Arena, Two Days Only, Thru March 16th

By Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media

Snow, what snow? The big bad snow storm clobbering Colorado did not deter a packed house from coming out to enjoy ‘Crystal’ Cirque du Soleil’s only production on ice at Ball Arena Tuesday night. While it was a winter wonderland outside the arena, indoors was just as enchanting with a fantasy world of wonderment as the protagonist, ‘Crystal’, a school age girl, tries to find her place in the world and in her life.

It is a beautifully staged production full of elegance and charm along with all the great multimedia, immersive experiences audiences have come to expect from their always fantastic circus arts shows. I found the show to highly energetic yet peaceful and tranquil.

Fabiana Nardi called the show, “truly impressive with its dazzling acrobatics on ice,” adding, “while it deviates from the usual Cirque du Soleil style, the show is worth experiencing for the awe-inspiring skaters and their artistry.”

Photos : Matt Baker & Olivier Brajon, Costumes : Marie Chantale Vaillancourt © Cirque du Soleil 2019

The acrobatic feats are incredible as usual only this time they are performed with two sharp blades attached to the bottom of most of the 44 performers feet. A level of danger like none other. “Some of the performers were acrobats who had to learn to ice skate while some of the skaters had to learn acrobatics,” one of the PR representatives told Latin Life Denver.

Photos : Matt Baker & Olivier Brajon, Costumes : Marie Chantale Vaillancourt © Cirque du Soleil 2019

“The show was one of the best Cirque du Soleil’s I have seen,” said Giselle Ginsberg. “It had a little bit of everything in regard to ice skating and circus,” she said. And that it did. The ice dancing was on par with anything you might see at an olympic performance and then some. Throw in some triple axels, double toe loops, back flips, spiral spins and all the rest and you have a show that Disney On Ice would be envious of.

In addition to ice dancing, pairs and solo skating, synchro and extreme skating, there are over seven
Cirque du Soleil disciplines in the show including banquine, hand-to-hand, acro/tumbling,
juggling, trapeze, poles, chair balancing and aerial straps – all on ice!

Photos : Matt Baker & Olivier Brajon, Costumes : Marie Chantale Vaillancourt © Cirque du Soleil 2019

It is also the only Cirque du Soleil show to use real snow during a performance! The team makes approximately 300 real snowballs for the show and real snow fall from the rafters of Ball Arena. That should be easy with all the snow just outside the door at the Ball Arena. Too bad it doesn’t have a retractable roof but the effect was the same.

Crystal is about a young girl named Crystal. One day, feeling misunderstood and out of sync with the world, she ventures out on a frozen pond and falls through the ice. In this underwater world of her own imagination, she has a vision: she sees a reflection of herself – her alter ego – that guides her, showing her a distorted version of her life.

Created by Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila, CRYSTAL takes audiences on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery full of whimsy and wonder. ‘Feel your adrenaline soar as you dive into a world of playful imagination with the show’s protagonist, Crystal, as she learns to see things differently and become whom she was always destined to be: herself,” states the promotional hype material for the show.

CRYSTAL is Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd creation. Since its creation, CRYSTAL has gone to over 135 cities and 21 different countries (and counting!) CRYSTAL has now been seen by over 2 million people since 2017.

In total, there are currently 97 people from 25 different countries on tour. 44 of them are performers in CRYSTAL. Collectively, the CRYSTAL tour speaks 23 languages including Spanish, French, Mandarin, Swedish, Portuguese, and Dutch.

While this production does use a sound track, there are live musicians that perform throughout the production. Photos : Matt Baker & Olivier Brajon, Costumes : Marie Chantale Vaillancourt © Cirque du Soleil 2019

It takes 18 x 55ft transport trailers to transfer CRYSTAL from city to city. The show uses 28 projectors to transform the ice into a playground, hockey rink, outdoor pond, cityscape, among others. The show also uses 36 trackers on costumes that control spotlights that follow the artists on the ice.

There are approximately 500 individual set pieces that are constructed and torn down each week on CRYSTAL. The wall structure used in the show is broken down into 210 individual pieces.

The show uses about 1250 pieces of wardrobe for every performance, and travels with over 4000
pieces in total – including 75 pairs of shoes. The costumes were designed to withstand the rigors of ice, and keep the artists safe: Catchers wear special padding on their shoulders and gloves made of Kevlar equipped with polymer cuffs to absorb shock and protect their forearms from the razor-sharp blades.

Ladies Night! This group of women celebrated a birthday at ‘Crystal’ calling it “Awesome, a one of a kind fast paced, highly energetic production. Photo by Latin Life Denver Media.

Some acts in the show involve high-level floor acrobatics on ice, which requires a lot of stability! The acrobats’ shoes incorporate a combination of small metal spikes and crampons that help them walk, slide, run, and so many other things that aren’t normally
possible on ice.

All artists wear 3-4 different costumes for every performance, some wear 6. This means there are a lot of quick changes! Each costume is equipped with full length zippers that run from ankle to ankle along the inside seam to allow the skaters to change without removing their skates.

Photos : Matt Baker & Olivier Brajon, Costumes : Marie Chantale Vaillancourt © Cirque du Soleil 2019.

Cirque du Soleil started with 20 street performers in Quebec in 1984. Since its creation in 1984, more than 378 million people have been inspired on 6 continents and 86 countries. The Canadian company now employs more than 4000 employees, including 1200 artists from 80 different nationalities
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is one of the largest live entertainment producers in the
world and has more than 47 different productions that are being presented simultaneously
around the world. Over 10 million people see a Cirque de Soleil show every year.

 visit www.cirquedusoleil.com

CRYSTAL Performance Schedule at DENVER’S BALL ARENA

Friday, March 15, 2024 – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 16, 2024 – 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., & 7:30 p.m.

Photos : Matt Baker & Olivier Brajon, Costumes : Marie Chantale Vaillancourt, © Cirque du Soleil 2019