Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Cirque Dreams, the Florida based production company, is sending their perennial favorite, “Holidaze,” on the road again. The cast of thirty multi-national artists splash the stage with color for the two hour show. Splendid costumes, sparkling sets, and high level skills keep the audience delighted. Included in this parade of skits, songs, and routines are a toss juggler, a rola bola artist, a Reisly act, a diabolo guy, a balancer, and an antipodist.

I caught their show in the historic Kings Theater in Brooklyn.

Irina Guseva is from Russia. Her character is Mrs. Santa.  She foot-juggles on her back with a variety of objects – cylinders, table-tops, and a giant candy, in a number of directions and velocities. She does two separate objects on each foot in completely different patterns, and then adds some object manipulation with her hands as well.

Victor Dodonov from Latvia is the Leader of the Penguins. He does Rola Bola on a cylinder, then on a bowling ball, then on a free-standing ladder and later a unicycle on a cylinder. He finishes with a five-level stack.

Bruke Tola and Ashenafi Kebebew from Ethiopia do the Reisly act. They execute numerous flips and double flips, flips with twists, and unusual sideways rolls. They finished with 28 consecutive back flips.

The toss juggler was Salih Mahammed, also from Ethiopia. He begins with a corner ricochet apparatus a la Greg Kennedy. He progresses to bounce juggling three and five balls, bouncing and in the air. Next an extended routine with six balls in numerous patterns, multiplex, and with force and lift bounces. He finishes with seven balls.

Other acts included a team of four ‘reindeer’ rope skipping, several aerialists-individuals and couples, on silks, straps, and Spanish web, a skating couple, a hand-stand artist, and an acrobalance team.

After the intermission is the balancing act with a stack of glass shelves built slowly on a mouthstick, and wine glasses placed above to three levels. He next balanced a wine bottle on a balloon on a sword, popped the balloon and caught the bottle on the sword.

There was also a guy on a slack wire act which included a forward roll, and an unusual bit where he opened the wire into four, held each one by his feet and hands, and spun around and around like a pin-wheel. That was a remarkable feat to see.

The acts went well with the musical accompaniment and singers, and with the plethora of unique colorful costumes and joyous atmosphere created by giant toy inflatables on the set.

Cirque Productions was founded by Neil Goldberg in 1993. They have played Superbowl half-time shows, Miss Universe, Disney, Six-Flags, and many others. In the 1990s they won a legal dispute brought by Cirque du Soliel over the right to use the word ‘Cirque’ in their name.

Holidaze is on tour and other productions including ‘Jungle Fantasy'(which began as an extended Broadway production) and ‘Unwrapped’ by Cirque Dreams are performed regularly in Las Vegas, Florida, on Norwegian Line Cruise Ships, and on tour.

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Raphael Harris was the proprietor of the Jerusalem Circus School for Children for over ten years. He has performed "Sir Juggley's One Man Circus" over a thousand times. He appeared in the Guiness Book of World Records twice and the Record Setters Book of World Records three times. He lives in New York.

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