Cirque Du Soleil Crystal – BACKSTAGE | Story and Photographs by Diane Fleischman

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Story &  Photographs by Diane Fleischman


There were 17 trucks headed to Allentown on Sunday, as the crew and performers of Cirque Du Soleil’s Crystal set up camp at The PPL Center.  The Valley Ledger was invited to catch a backstage glimpse as the crew and performers rehearsed before opening night.

What sets this show, Crystal, apart from all other Cirque du Soleil shows is that it is performed on ice, and in true Cirque fashion, be prepared to be dazzled and amazed with acrobatics that blur the boundaries between gliding sports and circus arts.

Backstage, we’re shown the costumes, full of fracture lines, as if someone cracked the ice.  Others have patterns of shadows.  Each skater and acrobat can go through three costumes changes during the show, some with very little time between scenes. For the performers wearing long pants, a special zipper is constructed that runs ankle to ankle on the inside seam, so the skates don’t need to be removed.

In preparation for opening night, scenes are run throughout the day, skaters warmed up, on the ice and in mid air, and group of acrobatics gathered and practiced.

Crystal tells the story of a young woman who feels misunderstood and out of sync with herself.  To escape her reality, she ventures out on a frozen pond and falls through the ice to an upside down world.  In this special world, and with the aide of her imagination, she sees a reflection of herself.  Her reflection guides her and unlocks her creativity.  With a stroke of her pen and this newfound power, she is able to find her true self and venture back to reality.

The show can teach us how to look at our everyday lives with new perspectives and angles.  To reframe our daily reality and to see what one might have missed.  Sometimes, the only way to appreciate things is to look at them sideways.  Discovering one’s individuality and uniqueness requires stepping out on thin ice.

The Valley Ledger would like to thank the hospitality of The PPL Center and Cirque du Soleil for backstage access for Crystal.

Catch the excitement as Crystal opens tonight and runs through Sunday, June 30th. Check showtimes at