Assoc. Arts & Culture Editor
On October 13th Cirque-Tacular put on a dazzling show to celebrate the opening of The Winter Center. Director of the Ware and Winter Centers Barry Kornheiser took the stage and gave a quick speech before introducing the host of the night Eric Walton.
Walton had a great stage presence, as soon as he stepped out the room was his. He spoke like an old time entertainer as if he was the ringleader of a traveling circus. In the first act a man climbed up a rope, (which is tough enough for most people) and then began to twist himself up in it and hang upside down. He looked so comfortable on the rope there was never any fear that he would lose his balance.
After he left the stage Walton asked the audience to try to twist their arms and contort their elbows. One person in the front row could actually do it, “Stay back after the show, their might be room our crew for you,” said Walton as he introduced the upcoming act. “Our next guy is an audience favorite, for which I am jealous.”
It was a contortionist who gave some alarming facts about how little people could touch their toes. He put his legs behind his head and then walked around on his hands. This was called “The Pretzel”. He then whipped out a tennis racquet and a squash racquet which he told the audience he would be putting his body through both items. The Using his own momentum he ran around until he was able to pull both shoulders through. The squash racquet was tougher as he put one leg through and intended to bring it up the side of his body and down the other leg. He succeeded with some difficulty, but could have been the showman in him. The contortionist would return later to have a tootsie roll pop into his nose. He followed that with a screwdriver, “If you ever get a really bad headache put a screwdriver in your nose and twist it around,” said the contortionist.
Then to top that he swallowed a sword, “Try not to surprise me or startle me, or I could get cut from the inside,” he said to the audience.
Walton came back on stage and asked for a volunteer, a young man specifically. The volunteer was brought on stage and was forced to sit down in a chair by a woman in a skimpy dress and a whip. She dance around him on stage cracking the whip. Then she started to hand him flowers with as she destroyed them with the whip. There was a flower in his hands, between his legs, and then in his mouth. She was precise with the whip and never hit him though.
“Our next act is in a class on his own, which must get very lonely,” said Walton.
It was a juggler who at some points was juggling seven balls at once. This should be enough but then he let the balls fall and would pick them up with his feet and toss them back into the air. It is hard to imagine the concentration and practice required to get to that level. He returned later and juggled rings
A young woman from Russia took the stage and started to put hula hoops down. Then she flicked each one up with her feet. Soon she had one on each hand, her leg and her upper body. Then she got what was essentially a bog slinky that she put her body and hulad. It’s amazing to watch someone that good at hula hooping and more entertaining then you would think.
One of the last performers was a DJ that began by making vocal beats then went into his sound mixer and brought that music in. This was fun, but then he brought one more element into it, tap dancing. As the music went he suddenly stepped out from behind his equipment and started dancing.
It was fun night where you never knew what was coming next. Cirque-tacular -The Show kept the crowd lively and excited throughout its run time. This was a great way to open the Winter Center.