Acrobats glide to symphony beat

Nanaimo - Cirque de la Symphonie melds Vancouver Island Symphony's musical talents with daring acrobatic feats.

Alexander Streltsov performs an aerial feat on bolts of silk. He and other acrobats

Alexander Streltsov performs an aerial feat on bolts of silk. He and other acrobats

Above the heads of Vancouver Island Symphony musicians, aerialists and acrobats will dance and twirl in the air this Saturday.

Their graceful and daring movements will keep in time with the music, which will be regulated under the careful guidance of Pierre Simard, the artistic director for the Vancouver Island Symphony. The performance, Cirque de la Symphonie, is a melding of the Vancouver Island Symphony’s musical talents and the strength and power of the cirque dancers, gymnasts and acrobats.

Christine Van Loo, a mime and juggling artist, said in a press release that performing alongside a live orchestra is “much more powerful than performing to recorded music.”

“It feels free, empowering, exciting,” she said.

Simard said in an e-mail that one of the challenges of having aerialists flying above the heads of musicians is ensuring they keep focused on the music.

“We can’t afford to let ourselves be distracted by the very high-quality, heart-stopping events taking place on stage,” said Simard.

Yet, combining art forms is also rewarding said the conductor.

“This artistic blend is quite simply one of the most spectacular in the industry, right now,” said Simard.

Cirque de la Symphonie has two performances on Saturday, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $84, depending on seating location, and are available at the Port Theatre box office, by calling 250-754-8550 or www.porttheatre.com.

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