Review: 'Cirque Dreams Holidaze' Dazzles with Acrobatics, Fanciful Costumes

by Will Demers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday December 20, 2021

Review: 'Cirque Dreams Holidaze' Dazzles with Acrobatics, Fanciful Costumes

With venues now open with some restrictions, there are plenty of holiday-themed shows to be seen, especially for families. "Cirque Dreams Holidaze" might fit the bill for an all-ages friendly show. Bright costumes? Check. Lively music? Check. Acrobats? Check. The company that has been entertaining audiences since 1993 joins us in Providence for a fun-filled weekend.

"Cirque Dreams" is a company that performs internationally with a variety of appealing shows, each with a theme that is loosely tied together with an appropriate narrative. In this case, it is by referencing "The Nutcracker" and its protagonist Clara (dancer and performer Hana Bible) as she navigates her "dreams" in a magical land of juggling, acrobatics, and colorful set pieces filled with some really fanciful costumes. 

As a matter of fact, the costumes are perhaps the co-stars of this particular show, making it a visual feast as well as an auditory one. Musical accompaniments utilize Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" themes in snippets to launch into techno, bass-driven music as Clara navigates the dreamland. And while she ties the show together, it's the performers that get everything moving, notably Lucian Fuller, who is the center of the action, juggling, balancing, and getting the crowd pumped for his antics, as well as everyone else's.

But everyone comes to this type of show for the high-flying thrills, and "Holidaze" doesn't disappoint in this regard. Center stage is the spot for acrobats to unravel themselves in fabric while simultaneously hanging, twirling, or completing unreal moves that cannot be understated. It's almost nerve-wracking to watch, but it is certainly part of the fun. One highlight was a young man who balanced on a board atop a cylinder on its side, but the real test was adding cylinders one after the other until it seemed that he couldn't possibly stay aloft, yet he did — and he added some juggling to the mix. The crowd's reactions said it all.

Certainly, nobody is coming to a holiday show of this type to have to think about a plot or storyline, and if you've got little ones who'll sit still for a show that's about ninety minutes with an intermission, this might be the one for you. It has enough to thrill youngsters as well as adults; pulse-pounding physical feats and a colorful light show leads to a satisfying night out. And perhaps it will help you get into the spirit of the holidays in an unusual way. Look for them when they return again.

"Cirque Dreams Holidaze" appeared for four performances through December 18th at The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) 220 Weybosset Street, Providence RI 02903. Patrons must present either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test before entry. Masks are required for all patrons while in the venue. For information or tickets call 401-421-2787 or visit www.ppacri.org.