#BGReviewer: Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL
Crystal is first introduced to the audience with her being berated by her family and peers shown through projections on the set castle and voice-overs. Immediately followed by the beautiful light display, Crystal meets her reflection after falling through ice. The audience then sees her reflection descend from the ceiling as they dance in a short routine together, mirroring the movement of each other. The act skates by lethargically, punctuated by voiceovers by Crystal.
The show picks up at a playground scene when Crystal encounters a few hockey players. There, extreme skaters flip, jump and soar through the air at terrifying speeds; the set piece also opens up to reveal a ramp that skaters hurl themselves off of. At one point, one of the skaters jumps off the top of the castle and onto a ramp to execute a series of death defying stunts; other extreme skaters whizz by flipping over and under each other, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they have blades attached to their feet.
This is one of the strongest scenes in the show. The little nuances, when the skaters high five each other every time and smile as they skate past each other, reveals the joie de vivre present in every Cirque du Soleil show.
When Mongolian acrobat Ochir Lkhagva stacked office furniture on top of each other precariously and did a shocking balancing act, the room was buzzing with excitement. The crowd was aghast as he stacked each additional chair.
One of the show-stopping moments was during a romantic aerial silk scene where Crystal is swept off her feet by her love interest, aerial strap acrobat, Jérôme Sordillon. Gabrielle Shonk’s rendition of Halo was spellbinding and added an extra layer of tenderness to the moment. Though the stunts themselves were impressive and executed perfectly, the performance and acting were stunning: each movement felt deliberate and emotional.
The show wrapped up with an explosive number: Crystal suspended in air by a trapeze artist’s feet. She rolls upwards, seemingly defying gravity and performs a number winding herself around the trapeze and trapeze artist. The number ends with her being hurled face down into the reverse splits into the arms of another acrobat, face only centimeters away from the ice.
Throughout the show, Crystal develops her inner voice through writing. An element that was impressive throughout the show was the interactive projections on the ice. There were several moments that looks like Crystal was drawing on the ice with her skates. The artistry and technology behind that shows the intense dedication that Cirque du Soleil has in their work.
The complete cast gets on the ice for the last number, zipping along the peripheral of the ice as Crystal spins in the middle. As they took one final bow, the crowd was roaring with exultation for the spectacle they witnessed.
Crystal managed to capture the hearts of the audience despite its somewhat awkward storyline. It combined so many elements that made it engaging for the audience and so emotionally satisfying. Crystal is a marriage of art and athleticism, celebrating the beauty of the human form and determination.
#BGReviewer: Jocelyn Wong
Photography: Bill Woodcock