Preston Kirk is at it again, this time with a great review of Austin Symphony Orchestra’s “Cirque de la Symphonie.”
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 Dvorák, Khachaturian, Bizet, Saint-Saëns, 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 “Boléro” 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.”