Cirque du Soleil chills
out with 'Crystal'

The show, coming to San Jose's SAP Center, is first time Canadian troupe has hit the ice
Cirque du Soleil offers first on-ice experience in new show 'Crystal.' Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

The first time Emma Stones saw a Cirque du Soleil show, she was 11 years old. Without thinking twice, she wanted to move away and join the circus. Little did she know that when she was 13 years old, her parents would actually support her dream of moving to Montreal.

"I moved away from my family and I lived with a host family for four years," she says. "In the high school program, we learned a bit of everything. At that point I chose swinging trapeze because I loved the feeling of flying in the air."

She is now an acrobat and backup swinging trapeze artist for Cirque du Soleil and is on her first touring show with the group. This show is like no other.

Crystal, Cirque du Soleil's first-ever on-ice production, offers audiences features world-class ice skaters and acrobats, as a story of self-discovery and imagination is told. Both the artists and skaters will perform on ice and in the air at the same time, adding an extra element of danger to the circus' famously risky reputation.

"For us acrobats it's completely new. It's a whole other element that I personally never had much experience with," she says. "It adds an element of stress. We're a lot more cautious of our surroundings."

The show was conceived as a way to push boundaries and create something that is thought to be nearly impossible.

There is also a pressure on circuses to break new ground because many people no longer see circuses as a worthy competitor for entertainment dollars.

"I think the circus is just constantly evolving," Stones says. "I think the circus that people have in mind—with like, you know, the clowns, big red noses, big shoes, and lions—that was back in the day. The circus is constantly evolving; that's what I love about it."

Not only does she say it's a developing production, but she also says Cirque du Soleil is always in touch with the rest of society. Stones says Cirque du Soleil is always one step ahead of the game, and is always looking for a way to break boundaries.

"Crystal" has already left a mark with many audiences. So much so that an extra show was added here in San Jose because it's the only Bay Area stop.

"It has this kind of childlike imagination that we all tend to forget as we grow up," Stones says. "It's the magic that I think is so special and we need to remember."

Mar 28 - Apr 1, $56+
SAP Center, San Jose

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