Fresno loves its Cirque de la Symphonie.
That's clear from the Fresno Philharmonic's recent embrace of the touring acrobatic company, which pairs up with orchestras nationwide to provide Cirque-style entertainment accompanied by music. The orchestra on Saturday is bringing back the title as part of its pops series for the third time in just over five years.
Here's a roundup:
The concept: Cirque de la Symphonie travels with a complement of aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers and strongmen. The music is choreographed to well-known pieces of classical music.
The company: It includes veterans of Cirque-style shows and gymnastics teams from around the world. Featured performers include Russian aerial artist Alexander Streltsov, known for his spinning cube act, and Christine Van Loo, an American acrobatic gymnast who competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The program: Theodore Kuchar will lead the orchestra in works by Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Dvorak, Bernstein and Copland. He might even be drafted into the Cirque part of the show, though there isn't any word on if he'll dangle upside down over his podium while conducting Bizet.
My thoughts: While I'm not a big fan of supplementing orchestral music with acrobatic performances, I realize I'm in the minority on this issue in terms of pops audiences. (Proof of that is the fact that the show keeps coming back.) And I was entranced at an earlier Cirque de la Symphonie performance by the aerial fabric ballet routines, the format that I think best lends itself to complementing orchestral music.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Saroyan Theatre, 700 M St. Tickets: $25-$80, available at www.fresnophil.org (no additional fees for online purchases), (559) 261-0600.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6373, firstname.lastname@example.org and @donaldbeearts on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.