Posted November 4, 2011 | © Photo courtesy of Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Cirque Musica ... C'est Magnifique!
Bello Nock, named by Time Magazine as "America's Best Clown," recently set a Guinness World Record for a daring high wire walk over a cruise ship at sea.Add that to his previous feats of hanging by his toes suspended from a helicopter over the Statue of Liberty and repelling off Madison Square Garden, and you can bet he knows a thing or two about captivating an audience. Bello and his wife Jennifer have now teamed up with entertainment marketing veteran Stephen Cook to direct and present Cirque Musica, a show that “blends the grace and thrills of the world's greatest circus performers with stunning symphonic music” ... and it’s magnificent!
In a performance at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas, spectators were swept away with sheer delight in this multisensory experience of spectacular music and elegant physical artistry.With music direction by electric violin recording artist Tracy Silverman, some original music composed by Emmy and Academy Award nominated composer Marcelo Zarvos, performed by members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Jamie Schmidt (whom Liza Minnelli hand-picked to conduct her recently sold-out concerts), Cirque Musica offered many beloved and familiar selections from the symphonic canon and popular repertoire such as “Flight of the Bumblebee,” Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, as well as themes from Star Wars and Superman, and more.
Opening the show by climbing down Mr. Bean style from the organ loft like a trepid and unlikely circus performer, Matt Roben, our French accented comedic host for the evening, interspersed his series of amusing antics throughout the show including playing “Let It Be” on the hand saw for his ‘geisha on a broomstick’ love interest after the symphony accompanied his romantic dance number with a medley of The Beatles’ “Yesterday,” “Here Comes the Sun,” and “Come Together.”
Simon Arestov, originally from Moscow, Russia, wowed the crowd right off the bat by balancing on an extensive set of rolling metal pipes and platforms several feet off the ground.Knowing that he had made his debut with the Rolla Bolla at age 13 did not do much, however, to suppress our protective anxieties from causing us to wonder what his bailout plan would be if something slipped.No worries though, he certainly didn’t need one.See his video here.
Next up, aerial silks artist Anna Kaminnik wrapped herself in a cocoon made up of large strands of red fabric that cascaded ethereally from the ceiling in the world’s first Aerial Quick Change Act during which she changed costumes four times and caused the audience to gasp loudly when she intentionally ‘fell’ several feet for her free fall drop trick before landing in another pose.This veteran of 10+ years with Ringling Bros. Circus has developed new acts for Cirque du Soleil and was just recently featured as a trainer on an episode of Made for MTV.
A Flying Wallenda
The lovely Lyric Wallenda, seventh generation circus performer of the world famous Wallenda family, has been practicing as long as she can remember and has many acrobatic accomplishments under her belt.Gracefully spinning through the air, swinging on the aerial hoop while hanging on in what seemed an effortless manner, she demonstrated a beautiful elegance of arm and leg strength. No net, of course.
Annaliese Nock, daughter of Bello Nock, made the debut of a new act performed to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in which an amorphous figure slowly moves across the floor to gently blossom forth a flower-costumed Annaliese who showed off her flexibility and whimsical expressions as two peculiar, Slinky-like, oversized caterpillar forms loomed about nearby.
Cuh-rack that Whip!
Angelo “A.J. Silver” Iodice, a cowboy from The Bronx, is one of the fastest, most impressive lassoers east of the Mississippi ... or probably west of it ... or really, anywhere we’ve ever been (and we’re from Texas)!In somewhat of a ‘country boy comes to the city’ routine set to the song “Hoe-Down” from the ballet Rodeo, A.J. delivered more roping tricks and bullwhip artistry than you can shake a stick at - spinning large and small loops over his shoulder, from his feet to overhead, in and over his arm sort of telescopically, while lying down on the ground, and even while jumping through the rope like his own individual game of double dutch.And that was only the warm up to the whip cracking good time he provided by creating multiple mini sonic booms while popping one and two whips and slicing items like he was in a Devo video.
Another native New Yorker, Jacob D’Eustachio, who studied under master juggler Kris Kremo, hit the stage with a hat trick.And by that we literally mean tricks with his hat - rolling it up and down his arm, through his legs, up his back, balancing it on his nose, and popping it onto his head.Then he absolutely mesmerized the crowd by juggling 3-4-5 and eventually 6 tennis-sized balls at once!One handed, two handed, through his legs, behind his back, over the shoulders, overhead, even turning around while bouncing them off the floor.A fun, fast-moving feast for the eyes!
Trying This at Home
Miles Ashton and George Coronas both come from a legacy of great circus families; so seriously, you should absolutely NOT try to duplicate their Risley act at home.But iiiff you did want to imitate them ... here’s how you might go about it:
Move a very sturdy bench to the middle of the floor, and have a friend lie back on it with his feet up in the air.Then you hop up and sit on his feet (facing away).Now, while your friend gives you a nice little push with his feet, you just lean way back, pop up into a complete back flip, and land again with your rear on his feet.Or land with your feet on his feet.Or do a double back flip.Or do five flips really fast and dismount by way of a cartwheel.
Sound ridiculous (or like an emergency room visit in the making)? Not so for Ashton and Coronas, who looked like a couple of ordinary guys that you might’ve gone to high school with and who performed with such ease that they made it look simple.Constantly outdoing themselves in what seemed like a playful game of one-upmanship, the two cordially slapped each other a ‘five’ before their finale of flipping continuously 12 times in a row!See this incredible video from their recent Denver show.
Beauty and the Strong Men
Demonstrating the strength of man and the beauty of woman, solo violinist Kathleen Sloan (an L.A. based recording musician who just came off a tour with Josh Groban) was hoisted via cables and suspended in mid air where she played a classical number as her very long, white dress draped toward the ground in a hauntingly romantic piece.Simultaneously, on the stage below, Ukrainian champion gymnast Anton Makukhin and Adam Vazquez (fourth generation circus performer and Nevada State Gymnastic Champion in the 90’s) performed hand-to-hand balancing feats of extreme strength.Since words could not possibly express, see a photo and video here.
The Cirque Musica team brings audiences to the edge of their seats with this fascinating show of sights and sounds.For more information and future tour dates, see: