Last night my wife and I kicked off the holiday season in Durham delighted by the artistry and magic of the amazing “Magical Cirque Christmas” at DPAC. The Christmas themed Cirque performance was a 90-minute thrill ride filled with a fast paced mix of magic, music, illusions and acrobatics. Hosted by funny man and magician, John Archer, the audience at DPAC last night was treated to a night of jaw dropping performances set to hit Christmas songs with vocals performed live by the talented Therese Curatolo.
This show was created by the same producers of behind the Broadway hit show, “The Illusionists,” and is something the whole family will enjoy. It has all the makings of a fun new twist on holiday entertainment to make for a new family tradition. One moment you are listening to a beautiful Christmas song, the next you’re filled with adrenalin watching death-defying feats taking place before your eyes.
Comprised of an international cast of performers the audience was first treated to the beautiful acrobatics of Sergei Kzakov and Anastasia Niukina as performed a graceful ballet of acrobatics from dual aerial straps and soared like angels high above the stage. Next up was the heart stopping and nail biting balancing act of Oleksiy Mruz who proved without a doubt he is the master of balance and precision as he climbed higher and higher above the stage perched on ever moving metallic rollers showing he has mastered gravity.
The Christmas wonder continued with more dazzling performances with short interludes of magic from John Archer. Be warned, at the DPAC show some audience members were on stage and Mr. Archer is all too ready to make you a part of his act! I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out his fun magic tricks.
Not to give too much away about the show, and all of the performers were amazing with their own unique talents, but two of my favorites were Rachel Salzman’s grace and elegance on the “Cyr Wheel” and Yusaku Mochizuki’s Diablo Juggling. Both of these performances were beautiful and hypnotic and I could have watched them go on all night. But the entire cast is truly made up of world-class talent and I enjoyed every spellbinding act that took the stage last night.
Going into “A Magical Cirque Christmas” I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I found myself amazed at the amazing feats performed before my very eyes by artists who have no doubt spent the better part of their lives mastering their craft to share with others. I thought this production did a wonderful job of bringing wonderfully unique performers together and setting it to a Christmas theme that adds a bit holiday magic to an already out of this world show.