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Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year joy: Cirque Banquiste delights with early New Year’s eve and day celebrations
 

Liz Mikel is the Mistress of Merriment
By Nancy Churnin
nchurnin@dallasnews.com
December 30, 2012
Circus is the art of the impossible. Artists train for years to dazzle, delight and stretch the imagination about what humans — and animals — can do. They fly, they spin, they juggle, and balance from bizarre heights.
This year, Cirque Banquiste even has Broadway, television and Dallas Theater Center sensation Liz Mikel as the Mistress of Merriment, charming the audience and singing a seductive “Peel Me a Grape” while contortionist Cassondra does her eye-popping twists.

I listed five top choices for ways to spend an early New Year’s Eve with your family in my weekly Family Fun column Friday. After seeing Cirque Banquiste Saturday night, I realized that should have made the list; you just have two more chances to catch it — 6:30 p.m. show Monday and 2 p.m. Tuesday.
It would be so much easier if I could single out a single reason for you to see this remarkable production, but truly there are no weak links. Kirill Robkovets stuns with his Rolla-Bolla balancing act, Gena Cristiani flips while she juggles, Ricardo Sosa does a balletic hand balancing act and Matthew Richardson seems a veritable “hoop” whisperer, dancing around his hoop and spinning in it as if the two are one.

Then there is elegant aerialist Simone Marina Lazar, plus the extraordinary Laurino Borthers with their Risley Act in which one flips the other, the incredibly cute Cartoon Poodles, dancing in their tutus and riding scooters and the clowns — Dallas’ own Slappy and Monday and Nic Rainone along with Jeff Gordon with his bubbles and flying rolls of toilet paper. Holding her own among all these professionals is 15-year-old Jesse Patterson, an dazzling hula hoop artist, who brings a depth of feeling to her performance that brings a rich and eloquent sense of wonder from another age.

Given the impossible nature of circus, it  seems fitting that every year the challenge of putting on Cirque Banquiste, a circus that brings international and local Dallas performers for a scant week with just a few days’ rehearsal, defies belief. It’s the dream of eighth generation circus performer Fanny Kerwich, who settled in Dallas after falling in love with Dallas’ Mark Doyle, now the Cirque’s executive producer. Together, they started Lone Star Circus as a year-round place to teach circus arts to the next generation and cirque as an annual holiday present for the rest of us — uncorking a bottle of joy to start off the new year.
read more:
http://artsblog.dallasnews.com/2012/12/new-year-joy-cirque-banquiste-delights-with-early-new-years-eve-and-day-celebrations.html/
 

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