On the set in San Diego with Cirque du Soleil

The Penticton Western News is in San Diego for a preview of the new show Crystal coming to Penticton

Penticton Western News photographer/reporter Mark Brett got a sneak peek of the Cirque du Soleil show Crystal, which is coming to the Abbotsford Centre and South Okanagan Events Centre next month.

Crystal’s unique journey of self-discovery into a world of ice magic and acrobatics came to San Diego’s Valley View Casino Centre this week.

Crystal is the title character and the name of Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever experience on ice currently making its way up the west coast with scheduled stops in Abbotsford and Penticton in April.

The experience is a fusing of the troupe’s patented circus arts and the graceful gliding disciplines of figure skating and just about everything in between.

Blurring the boundaries and melding the two into a timeless storyline is the goal of this 42nd production by Cirque directors.

“There’s a love story to Crystal as well,” said Julie Desmarais, the show’s publicist Thursday during the afternoon rehearsal and training session in San Diego. “She meets a person and together they fly and she flies with her skates so the two disciplines really meet and blend together as one.

Andy Buchanan and Robin Johnston rehearse their roles in the Cirque du Soleil production of Crystal Thursday at the Valley View Casino Centre in San Diego. They will be performing in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC) April 18 to 22.
Mark Brett/Western News
“Another case: our juggler had done some roller blading before but never did juggling on skates so that was a first for him.”

Crystal comes to the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre April 11 to 15 and the South Okanagan Events Centre April 18 to 22 inclusive.

The storyline for the show is about a girl who is a misfit, a dreamer with her head in the clouds looking for something more in her life.

One day, feeling out of sync with her world and feeling misunderstood she ventures out onto a frozen pond and falls through the thin ice. In the underwater world of her own imagination Crystal has a vision, seeing a reflection of herself who shows her a distorted version of her life and eventually waking her up to her own genius and creativity.

“There was a lot work done before we started in the creation of Crystal,” said Desmarais.

True to form, lighting, costumes, music and set design is definitely out of this world with the goal of stirring emotions.

The performers have had to become quick change artists, with most wearing three or four costumes during the course of the show.

All types of skates are used, including figure skating, ice dance and hockey skates.

To help the non skating acrobats maintain stability on the ice during their routines, small metal spikes were built into the soles of their footwear.

Tickets for the Penticton show are available in person at the Valley First Box Office (at the SOEC), over the phone at 1-877-763-2849 or online. Tickets for the Abbotsford show are available at the Abbotsford Centre box office, by phone at 1-855-985-5000 or online.

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