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Cirque du Soleil in SP: Go Behind the Scenes of “Crystal”, a Great Ice Show

Cirque du Soleil in SP: Go Behind the Scenes of “Crystal”, a Great Ice Show

The show ‘Crystal’ debuts this Friday 5th at Parque Villa-Lobos and features 45 artists in shows that combine circus, theater, dance and ice skating. ‘Estadão’ followed the backstage and rehearsals on the eve of the season opening

The tent is impressive from afar. It is impossible not to visit it. Villa Lobos Parkin the western area of St. Pauland don’t be curious about the grand structure set up next to the library. This is the tent that will host, between this Friday, October 5th and 6th, OR New Cirque du Soleil Show: Crystal.

After a short season in Rio, the Canadian troupe presents this, the first ice show in its history.

If the aim of Cirque du Soleil in its four decades of history has always been to amaze, Christal, which combines circus, theater and skating, goes further. To give you an idea, the tent parked at Parque Villa-Lobos had to come from Dubai: there was no gym in São Paulo that could accommodate the skating rink and the structure needed to put on the show.

Crystal takes its name from the protagonist, played by four different artists. The girl is a creative but misunderstood young woman who needs to venture into thin ice to find herself. In an inverted world, she sees a reflection of herself that makes her discover her individuality.

On stage there are 45 artists of 23 nationalities. Behind the scenes there are 97 people of 25 nationalities. There are also local employees, about 250, who take care of, among other things, security, food and ticketing. “We have a small city here,” comments the Brazilian Roberto Larroude, public relations for Cirque du Soleil, during the visit of State this wednesday, 3.

The journalist had the opportunity to visit behind the scenes, follow the rehearsals of the Crystal and attest that everything that happens inside and behind the track is impressive.

A city within the metropolis

The tent that arrived in São Paulo is the largest that Cirque du Soleil has ever brought to Brazil in history – and the largest company in the world. In total, it is 6,300 square meters, 20 meters high and approximately 3,500 seats.

It took 40 containers to carry Crystal in Brazil and the assembly of the structure in Sao Paulo took more than a month. According to Roberto, the tent sent to Brazil is used only on special occasions: in other cities where the show has already taken place, including Rio, it has been presented in gyms, stadiums and arenas.

But, after all, what is so special and inspiring about it? Crystal? Ice…

Ice stage for the show

It took about three days for a company hired by Cirque to build the stage. Behind it is a network of pipes that constantly pump a special liquid that freezes only at -70º C.

Despite the grandeur of the structure, the atmosphere behind the scenes is intimate. During the visit of Statethe artists played with each other, taught each other what they perform with professionalism on stage and trained in the gym set up on site. It is a family that develops through long trips around the world: in the meantime, couples are also formed among the members of the group.

Artists train backstage at

And it’s the giant tent that creates the same sense of closeness between the artists and the audience. “Some of the arenas we’ve been to are huge sports stadiums. So here you get a much more intimate show because you’re closer to what’s happening on stage,” says Dawn Wilson, artistic director of Crystal.

Learning to manage ice

Self Crystal It is so different from the other shows of the company, also the performers and the preparation to face so much ice must be versatile. The skaters were hired to perform tricks in the show and the acrobats had to learn to skate.

Figure skater Michael Helgren, who was once part of Disney on Icesee inside Crystal a dream come true.” “I never thought I’d be part of Cirque,” comments the American, saying that the team of artists takes two to six weeks to prepare to go on stage.

Accustomed to only having skaters around him, the biggest novelty for Michael is having to deal with the stunts at his side and people floating above his head. “In principle it’s a bit scary, but now it’s become second nature and I feel comfortable with everything that’s going on around me. But it definitely takes time to get used to it,” he jokes.

Cirque du Soleil company rehearsals for the show 'Crystal'.

Among the artists floating above the skaters’ heads is Australian acrobat Elli Huber – during her visit Statedid impressive numbers on the trapeze. Elli doesn’t wear skates during the show – only shoes suitable for ice – but she still had to learn to skate.

“It was a new challenge,” she says, saying she had to get used to doing the trapeze on an all-white stage. “You have no reference points. […] It took me a while to get used to it and get my bearings, but it was really fun and now I enjoy it. And I don’t get hot when I’m up there, it’s nice,” he jokes.

Acrobat Elli Huber during rehearsals for 'Crystal', a new show by Cirque du Soleil.

Even though everything seems perfect at Cirque du Soleil, dealing with the potential mistakes in a live performance is what makes it more exciting, according to the artists. “Our job is to make everything as seamless as possible and make it seem like what’s happening on stage is meant to be. That’s the magic behind the performance,” says Michael.

For Elli, “if everything is perfect 100% of the time, it’s not real.” “That’s the most amazing thing about performing live and not on TV or something. Because we’re not robots and that’s what makes every performance different and unique and fun,” she says.

Audience reactions

OR Statewhich accompanied the full show in Frisco, Texasin February, attended the rehearsals of some of the songs that will be featured in the show. On stage, everything is designed to surprise: there is even technology that uses trackers in the costumes to control 36 spotlights that follow the artists. “The scene is created as the show unfolds,” comments Roberto Larroude.

Elli says the team works hard to reach a technical level that will leave the audience excited. “What’s really special for me is not just to impress people, but to make them feel something, to make them fascinated by the story,” says the acrobat.

Dawn Wilson says that, despite requiring a lot of hard work and rigorous organization, the most rewarding part of being part of Cirque du Soleil is, at the end of a show, seeing the audience’s reaction. “It’s very stressful, but the joy in the end is seeing the audience. When we feel this audience, it’s like…” she comments, simulating a gesture of euphoria with her hands.

Created by Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila, Crystal Combines performances such as trapeze, hand-to-hand, banquine, aerial hoops, juggling and hand balancing. Sessions run from Wednesday to Sunday and tickets range from R$ 190 (half price, Silver) to R$820 (full, Premium). You can buy online, for a fee, on the Eventim website, or in person, without commission, at the Shopping Market Place and at the ticket office of Parque Villa-Lobos.

Circus of the Sun: Crystal in San Paolo

  • Local: Villa-Lobos Park (Ave. Queiroz Filho, 1.315 -Vila Leopoldina)
  • Season: From 7/5 to 10/6
  • Sessions and times: Wednesday and Thursday, at 9pm / Friday, at 4pm and 8pm Saturday at 1pm*, 5pm and 9pm Sunday, at 4pm and 8pm *only on specific dates
  • Office opening: 1 hour before the show
  • Capacity: 3,582 seats
  • Duration: 2 hours, including 25 minute break
  • Classification: Free. Children under 12 are accompanied only by parents or legal guardians. Subject to change by decision of the Court.
  • Access Disabled: Access and available places.

Source: Terra

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