I just got back from an opening night performance of Cirque du Soleil: Crystal as it came through Portland, and I have to say it was a real treat full of magic and wonder, as well as a little encouragement for the slightly quirky daydreamers among us.
Cirque du Soleil is a modern circus, which performs without animals and using a lot more artistic creativity with elaborate costumes, high-tech light displays, and artistically choreographed routines. Each show is built around a theme, and in the case of Crystal, the show centers around the story of Crystal, a creative but distracted school girl who examines her hopes, dreams, and identity in a dream-like journey through the ice.
Crystal is the first (and possibly only) Cirque du Soleil show to mix ice skating and acrobatics. Ice acrobatics, ramps, areal acrobatics, chair balancing, juggling, and clowning all work their way into the show—all the circus favorites, but with Canadian artistic flair.
The show starts off by inviting the audience to participate in a snowball fight with one of the performers. If you like to take your time getting to your seat, you might want to reconsider for this show, because the snowball fight is over before the performance was ever scheduled to start. The rest of the show continues with high-energy, crowd-engaging performances and encouragement to clap along with the music.
This show is appropriate for all ages, whether they appreciate the story or just enjoy the acrobatics. Crystal is in Portland until April 8th, and then the tour will continue into Canada and later return to the United States. Check their website to see if it is touring near you. I received a press pass, but regular ticket prices in Portland start at $37.