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Illuminate your imagination

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
summit daily news

It’s an urban fusion of Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, a modern dance performance and a Broadway musical – all staged to blow people’s minds.

Cirque Dreams “Illumination” pushes the boundaries of the human form, with everything from Asian contortionists sliding across each others’ bodies while swinging ceiling high, to an unbelievably flexible popper who, while slowly creeping into a backbend, sequences every vertebrae and muscle in his back.

The show also stimulates the imagination with magical costume conversions (no joke – it’s impossible to figure out how one woman changes from one tight-fitting dress to another with only a piece of cloth momentary pulled around her); white tape under black lights on an otherwise completely dark stage that transforms from a dancing stick figure to a single line to a rolling wheel; and a man who balances on five cans rolling in horizontal and vertical directions.

Cirque Dream’s theme revolves around an urban setting, in which anything – and everything – can happen. Through costume and music, “Illumination” ushers in a 1940’s vibe, blended with a present-moment pulse. Scenes range from a construction worker walking and somersaulting over a slack “tightrope” to barely clad contortionists with the words “women at work” printed on their limber bodies. One scene, reminiscent of the Blue Man Group, features a drummer, only in lieu of paint splashing when actors drum, the sound actually emanates from a juggler bouncing a number of balls on the kit.

One particularly hysterical skit requires audience participation: Four people were randomly chosen to follow the “director’s” instructions, even though the director was a clown who spoke through pantomime and a series of whistles. Without ruining the surprise, suffice it to say you better feel sexy if you’re the woman picked to stand on stage, and you better be ready for anything if you’re one of the three guys.

Cirque Productions, not to be confused with Cirque du Soliel, began in 1993 and launched the Cirque Dreams phenomenon in 2002. It draws entertainers from The Mongolian School of Contortion, The Acrobatic Training Center of Beijing, The Moscow Circus and more.

As such, it is a whirlwind of active imagination and mind-bending visuals sure to illuminate anyone’s awe.


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