Cirque de la Symphonie
Dates and Venue 30 Jan 2010 | Tucson Music Hall, Tucson, Arizona
Reviewer Patricia Cassidy
I love the Symphony, and I love fantastic juggling, acrobatic and athletic events, plus I love great entertainment. Fortunately for me, the Tucson Music Hall, last Saturday night, combined all three when Cirque de la Symphonie came to town.
The idea of a Symphonic musical program with a mix of Dvorak, Rossini, Saint-Saens, Wagner and John Williams (a Harry Potter score) accompanying these remarkable performers on stage was a great idea and a way to make classical music more accessible to a wider audience.
What an inspiring method of introducing children to the Symphony! And although we were mostly a mature audience that night, I suspect children showed up in droves with their parents for the Sunday matinee.
After a very nice, full Symphony intro with a Dvorak piece, Aerial Rope artist Efe Ilkay gracefully and athletically worked the rope to the accompaniment of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. Svetlana Getman (filling in for Christine Van Loo) followed up with a beautiful aerial dance with flowing red silks suspended from the ceiling. She was a human yo-yo twisting, turning, falling and rising to Saint- Saens Danse Macabre Op. 40.
Hoop artist, Irina Burdetsky, was perky, fun and engaging with her hoop artistry routine to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Danse des Bouffons. Sergey Ignatove thrilled us with a dazzling display of his juggling expertise. To the music of Rossini/Respighi and Khachaturian, he juggled propellers (yes I said propellers) and also showed us his mastery with a mixture of rings and hoops.
George Hanson, the Tucson Symphony Musical Director and Conductor, was in fine form the whole evening, involving the audience and telling stories of his grandfather’s involvement in the community and other interesting anecdotes (I learnt that the Tucson Symphony is the oldest, continually operating performing arts organization in Arizona).
We laughed when he said: “After seeing the Cirque members in rehearsal, I ran home and renewed my subscription to Balleys Gym!” We all felt that way as these artists did amazing things with their bodies that simply took our breath away. The final act, Jarek and Darek, the Polish Strongmen, team was the piece de la resistance. With Bach’s Toccata Fugue in D minor playing, they entered stage left, slowly and dramatically, painted bronze, and commenced to do three or four stunts that literally made us gasp. They took our breath away. Wow! They were a big hit and a great finale to the evening.
. © 2010 Patricia Cassidy