Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reach new heights of Christmas joy

By Meredith Deliso

Office parties. Santa Claus. Ice skating. This is the stuff of the holidays. For Suspended Cirque, it’s also the stuff of aerial art.

In three shows at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO from December 19-20, the aerial theater troupe will present “The 12 Acts of Christmas,” a holiday spectacular like none other.

This fanciful new holiday show features ice maidens on a triangle trapeze, a ribbon-dancing Nutcracker, ice skating in mid-air, a live musical rendition of “Sleigh Ride” like you’ve never heard before, a drunken Sugar Plum, and even Santa on a unicycle.

“It’s all turned on its head a little bit,” says Suspended Cirque co-founder Angela Jones of the holiday show.

Indeed, the cast of characters also includes a “hipster elf,” says Jones, who will be playing electric guitar and DJing throughout the show. And Santa will come in and out on, rather than a cherry red sleigh, a unicycle. “He’s our theme in variation,” says Jones.

Combining aerial acrobatics, theater, music, dance and circus arts, these 12 acts will certainly enthrall as the show moves from a movie montage to Jones own solo rope piece to its triple trapeze grand finale. Another highlight is sure to be the troupe’s rendition of “Sleigh Ride,” featuring all the performers – Jones, Joshua Dean, Michelle Dortignac, Ben Franklin, and Kristin Olness – as a band. “My only responsibility is to be Mrs. Claus cracking the whip, literally,” says Jones.

In addition to live music — the troupe’s own variations on holiday classics — DJ Uri Attia will also provide some sounds.

For the past few months, Suspended Ciruqe has taken up a residency of sorts at Galapagos, performing “Across the Water” last spring and “Urbanopolis” this past summer.

“In general we don’t have a lot of opportunity to perform aerial work in various spaces,” says Jones. “They give us an entire evening to basically do what we want.”

The venue approached Suspended Cirque to put on a holiday show, which they gladly accepted, mainly as a creative break from their other theatrical projects.

“A lot of us are dancers and have done ‘The Nutcracker’ five million times,” says Jones. “This was something we could do creatively and have more leeway and fun with it.”

That’s sure to be a draw for audiences as well, looking for some new holiday entertainment beyond Radio City or Broadway.

“It’s something you can do for the holidays that’s different than what you might normally do,” says Jones, “like seeing ‘The Nutcracker.’”

“The 12 Acts of Christmas” by Suspended Cirque is Saturday December 19, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, December 20, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children and seniors. Galapagos Art Space is located at 16 Main St. For more information, call 718-222-8500.


Jeff,  December 10, 2009 at 6:12 PM  

Suspended Cirque puts on a great show. I saw "Urbanopolis" and it was fantastic.

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