Cirque du Soleil Crystal

Behind the Scenes


Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:10 pm

As the polar vortex blanketed Milwaukee in snow and ice this January, Fiserv Forum was also freezing over.

A sheet of ice was laid on the arena’s floor for an event for the first time, serving as a stage for the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s “Crystal,” which ran Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.

The on-ice production is a first for the Montreal-based entertainment company, which has now performed in Milwaukee eight times since 2006. “Crystal” combines Cirque’s traditional circus-style acrobatic acts with synchronized, freestyle and extreme skating – all while telling a story to the tune of both original and pop ballads.

Creating the show was a 12-month process, which was followed by training and rehearsal for its 43 performers and 47 staff and crewmembers, who together represent more than 20 countries, said Julie Desmarais, the company’s publicist.

“We always aim to reinvent ourselves and push the boundaries,” she said.

Photos by Jake Hill

  1. The production presented an extra challenge as the cast’s acrobats had to learn how to ice skate and the ice skaters had to learn how to perform acrobatic feats.
  2. Lkhagva-Ochir practices a one-armed balance backstage. He is one of the cast’s 20 acrobats.
  3. Cornelius Atkinson and Amber Van Wijck practice their duo trapeze act.
  4. Rigger Maui Ayachi-Sumeo secures a swinging trapeze apparatus.
  5. The show’s costumes and props are handmade at Cirque’s headquarters in Montreal.
  6. Lighting effects are used throughout the show to help tell the story.
  7. Figure skates, ice dance skates and hockey skates are used during the show. Painted covers that zip over the skates make them look like shoes.
  8. Acrobat Danica Gagnon-Plamondon plays the show’s main character, Crystal. She flips and flies through the air on a trapeze while wearing ice skates.
  9. Head of rigging Josh Wong scales the rig suspended above the set.
  10. Figure skaters Mary Siegel (right) and Lisa Mochizuki.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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