Anyone looking for a little Christmas magic and a fun way to get into the holiday spirit would have been delighted with Durham Performing Arts Center's production of A Magical Cirque Christmas. This exciting performance, made possible by producers Simon Painter, Tim Lawson, and MagicSpace Entertainment, featured a variety of cirque artists from all over the world performing daring, spell-bounding acts, all set to live music from the talented Therese Curatolo, who delivered some classic Christmas hits in her sultry, mesmerizing voice with elaborate costumes to match.
Therese Curatola. Photo by Lou Baldanza
Serving as host for the evening was the funny, personable John Archer, who also did duty as a magician and a comedian. And, while his parts of the performance may not have been quite as daring as the other acts, Archer gave the show the right, lively energy and ensured there was never a boring moment.
John Archer. Photo by Roland Lorente
Of course, it would be hard to imagine anyone ever being bored at a show like this one! Set with pretty, twinkling lights in the background, the first act featured the aerial artistry of Sergei Kozakov and Anastasiia Niukina. The two performers used Duo Straps to perform a ballet-inspired Duo Adagio that was both breathtakingly beautiful and surprisingly romantic.
They were followed by Oleksiy "Alex" Mruz in a precarious balancing act known as Rola Bola. Perched high atop the audience, Mruz's act was edge-of-your-seat exciting. Other, equally exciting performances included daring diabolo juggling by Yusaku-Mochizuki, known as "Mochi," and a Cyr wheel performance by hoopstress Rachel Salzman, outfitted in a sweet, candy-striped dress to perfectly complement her performance. There was also a reality-defying duo trapeze act by Virginie Gerbeau and Zoé Sanscartier; unique foot juggling by Ray Rodrigues and Henry Green; astonishing contortion and hand balance by Anastasiia Mazur; and impossibly perfect juggling by Eduardo Garza.
Akin to a night at the circus and giving viewers the chance to see acts and feats they could never have witnessed otherwise, A Magical Cirque Christmas truly lives up to its name. Suitable for and sure to be enjoyed by viewers of all ages, it was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.
Hand balancing by Anastasiia Mazur. Photo by Lou Baldanza.
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