By Kaelyn Christian
This Tuesday night, “Cirque Dreams: Illumination” will be performing at Miller Auditorium.
“Cirque Dreams,” which was founded and directed by Neil Goldberg, has been performing shows since 1993.
“The word ‘cirque’ is French for circus. ‘Cirque Dreams’ brings us a European style circus with talented performers from around the world,” said Bethany Gauthier, assistant director of marketing at Miller Auditorium.
Members of “Cirque Dreams” perform wire acts, contortions, and acrobatics while dancing and singing during their performance, which takes place in “The City of Illumination” using the urban backdrop as their playground.
“It’s an incredibly creative approach to modern entertainment,” said junior Chelsea Morgan, a musical theatre performance major who’s been a fan of acts like “Cirque Dreams” since childhood.
“It takes traditional concepts of circus performance and intertwines them with contemporary music and simple, but effective story lines. What you get out of Cirque is a sort of modern play without the dialogue. It’s a new frontier for theater.”
“Cirque Dreams: Illumination” is a big production, using 200 costumes in a show, 2,000 water bottles for the performers a week, and two large semi trucks to move the show from city to city. The 26 cast members hail from countries all over the world including the United States, Trinidad, and Uzbekistan.
“The quality and training that all of the performers go through in order to be cast in any Cirque production is top-notch,” Morgan said.
“The endurance that the performers must encompass alone is incredible. They put their bodies through a ridiculous amount of stress and then are expected to sing, dance, and act on top of top-notch acrobatics. They also must communicate their story without dialogue which is one of the most difficult acting challenges to have; acting without a crutch.”
This year, in addition to offering holiday shows, Miller Auditorium is organizing a food drive to benefit local food pantries, such as Loaves and Fishes.
Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items with them to the show. A table will be set up outside the auditorium to accept donations.
Non-perishable food items include canned goods like vegetables, beans, and stews and boxed foods, such as macaroni and cheese, rice, etc.
“We are doing the food drive with all our shows around the holidays. It’s just something we wanted to do to help give back to the community during the holiday season,” Gauthier said.
The show is Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Students who wish to attend will receive 50 percent off their ticket price with a valid student ID. Tickets range from $25- $50 for general admission, or before the student discount. They can be purchased at Miller Auditorium or through their online box office at www.millerauditorium.com.