Cirque du Soleil acrobats jump to the frozen stage in Charlotte for the first time

Cirque du Soleil will take its contemporary circus performance to the ice for the first time in Charlotte with its touring show “Crystal.”

The ice show will run from Wednesday to July 21 at the Spectrum Center. Directed by Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila, it premiered in October 2017, and the show has been touring in the U.S. and Canada ever since.

“Crystal” combines Cirque du Soleil’s classic circus performances, light projections and original music with new ice acrobatics and cover versions of modern pop songs to tell the story of Crystal, the heroine who goes on a frozen pond and imagines a surreal world.

Frederique Morin, the show’s touring publicist, said the show involves a lot of firsts for Cirque du Soleil.

“It’s the first time that we’ve put on a show on ice. But there’s also the music ⁠— it’s the first time that we incorporate pop songs,” she said. “I think it helps the audience to connect with the show and the story.”

Morin said “Crystal” features both professional figure skaters and circus acrobats, many of whom had to adapt or learn new skills so Cirque du Soleil could translate seamlessly to the frozen stage.

“Everybody’s really passionate about what they’re doing, and I think that’s what the audience can see,” Morin said.

Jorge Petit, one of the show’s jugglers and a native of Chile, had never ice skated before he was recruited by Cirque du Soleil for “Crystal.” He now has performed in over 500 shows.

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Circus juggler Jorge Petit had never ice skated before he was recruited by Cirque du Soleil for “Crystal.” He has now performed in over 500 shows. Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

“I like challenges,” Petit said. “I really wanted to push the juggling to another level and on another path. There’s a lot to explore with ice skates.”

Petit said it took several months to learn how to skate and adapt his juggling techniques to the new format before the 2017 premiere. He frequently had to be his own teacher and still trains daily to perfect his skills.

“It’s super special because it combines two completely different worlds — ice and circus,” Petit said. “We all had to work a lot to be able to do our techniques on ice, and it’s the same for the skaters.”

Want to go?

Tickets are on sale with prices ranging from $37 to $135. The Spectrum Center will host one show daily from Wednesday to Friday, three shows on Saturday and two on Sunday.

For more information, visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/usa/charlotte/crystal/buy-tickets.

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