Now Playing Austin
Member Reviews: Cirque de la Symphonie in Austin
December 31, 1969
By VICKI MCKAIN
The Austin Symphony in collaboration with an international group of performers captivated the audience with an evening of enchanting beauty for the eyes and ears.The orchestra led by the engaging Peter Bay(who also participated in a magic trick)was splendid.The various performances harmonized with the classic pieces as well as a few modern works(Harry Potter).The performers were riveting. Alexander Streltsov was especially stunning when wrapped in white silk soared over the audience like a dove. Christine Van Loo was equally as elegant in her silk and rope aerial performances.These two along with others required grace and strength.The last two men, bald and painted gold, performed a slow motion balance and contortion act of amazing strength.Some humor was provided by a harlequin mime and his feats of juggling.The children and adults around me were fascinated and cheered throughout the show.Hopefully,this troupe will be invited back to perform with the symphony-a show not to be missed.
"Cirque! Cirque! Symphonie! Symphonie!"
By PRESTON KIRK
I always wanted to run away and join the circus. (The symphony? Not so much.) I typically thought symphony halls were good places to mellow, to chill-out. But marry the two entities — eye-popping aerialists and about 80 dedicated, talented musicians — and, well, I'm packing a bag!
The Saturday night audience seemed to be an eclectic mix of classic music enthusiasts and fans of sawdust, sideshows and cotton candy. But we all were enthralled by the mime-juggler, the cube spinner, the hand balancers, acrobats, hoop, rope and static silks performers. We were kids again in a grown-up atmosphere!
The orchestra, under Conductor Peter Bay's inimitable (and playful) baton, swept the audience and the onstage action along with suites, marches, dances, rhapsodies, overtures and movie themes that heightened further the riveting acts while delighting the ear. Works by Dvorak, Khachaturian, Bizet, Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Respighi/Rossini and Chabrier added to the excitement, the suspense and the thrills.
Alexander Streltsov, Aloysia Gavre, Vladimir Tsarkov, Chrstine Van Loo and Elena Tsarkova are not exactly household names, unless you are a diehard fan of champion circus celebs extraordinaire. But their feats were and are absolutely unforgettable. The dynamic balancing act of Jaroslaw Marciniak and Dariusz Wronski, a Polish pair polished to a golden sheen (literally), captivated with their incredibly powerful balancing act. Ravel's "Bolero" built to its crescendo as the bald, nearly nude men performed jaw-dropping feats of strength.
Magnificent, sexy and breath-taking! Scary, awesome and totally entertaining. Even P.T. Barnum would've loved this show! Austinites can only hope that this program will be repeated or replicated here or nearby, sooner than later.
"Spellbinding Treat for Ears and Eyes"
By RONDA DALE-KIRK
If you missed this Austin Pops concert, please find another opportunity to see this outstanding blend of aural and visual beauty. Seven incredibly athletic and graceful Cirque artists performed magical feats choreographed to select pieces of classical music and movie themes. The program included "Les Toreadors" from "Carmen," John Williams pieces from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and from "Star Wars: Episode II," and other majestic stirring compositions.
When the applause died down after the first aerial artist's magnificent performance, the almost sold-out audience was quietly awed with anticipation. A patron behind me said, "I'm starting my diet tomorrow." Each performance was spectacular and layered by admiring applause throughout. "How can they top themselves?" I kept asking myself. Then came the final act, two Polish athletes, former national hand-balancing champions. Their toned bodies, painted a soft gold from baldpate to muscled toe, they were like sculptured Adonises, slowly coming to life, moving from one unbelievable pose to the next.
The next ASO Pops concert is: "Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles." Better buy tickets now or miss out on another stunning evening.
"Spell-binding beauty and grace"
By MICHAEL ALAN FOSTER
As I sat spell-bound in The Long Center enjoying the symphony music under the able direction of Maestro Peter Bay and the soaring aerial works of talented and beautiful women and one gloriously attractive, skilled, and focused young man, this scripture suddenly came to my mind:I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14).The evening WAS wonderful.The display of talent,beauty and grace was awe-inspiring.I pondered the skill,training and dedication of ALL the artists on stage and the incredible sense of timing and grace required to present us with this two hours of magical, beautiful, joyous entertainment.Celebration was the mood for this moving performance by The Austin Symphony and seven world class artists. Alexander Streltsov was especially stunning as he soared above us on wings of white silk. When he/they return I am sure the house will be filled to capacity. I would give more stars if this system allowed!
By RUBY SINCLAIR
This was my first experience going to the Austin Symphony and WOW what an experience! The beauty of the cirque performances were fantastic and I was equally impressed with the skill and elegance of the music performed by the orchestra! I will be back...no doubt about it!!
By ERIC G
What a great marriage of cirque elements and classical music!! Loved the entire performance. Was especially impressed with the talent of the musicians being able to keep perfect internal tempo during the Danse des Petits Cygnes while Peter Bay participated in the wonderful magic performance! Shows the true sign of a greatly talented ensemble of musicians!!