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Jean Oelrich
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joelrich@pacificsymphony.org

It’s a magical treat for the eyes and ears when Pacific Symphony delivers a stunning fusion of cirque acts synched to classical music’s finest masterpieces—“Cirque de la Symphonie”

Orange County, Calif. — March 21, 2014

Music soars to stunning new heights along with aerial fliers and acrobats, when they (plus contortionists, dancers, jugglers and strongmen) perform their death- and gravity-defying Cirque feats to popular classical masterpieces—all live, on stage and dramatically backed by a full orchestra for Pacific Symphony Pops. This jaw-dropping fusion of two art forms wows Symphony audiences of all ages for a third time, as the internationally recognized and award-winning artists of “Cirque de la Symphonie” take to the air and push themselves to the limit in a “spectacular event” that couples the “magical musical styling of Pacific Symphony” with the “playfulness of acrobats sharing the same stage,” according to A Taste of Dawn Magazine in a review that followed a performance in April 2012.

Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman leads the orchestra through stirring repertoire of audience favorites including John Williams’ “Flight to Neverland” from the movie “Hook,” Tchaikovsky’s Waltz from “Swan Lake,” scores from Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” and Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Baccanale” from “Samson and Delilah” and “Danse Macabre,” among other classical pieces. “Cirque de la Symphonie” dazzles Thursday through Saturday, May 1-3, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $25- $160; for more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.

“I’ve always loved leading concerts that combine music and movement on stage,” says Maestro Kaufman. “This is my first opportunity conducting for the remarkable performers of ‘Cirque de la Symphonie’ and I am especially excited to experience their fantastic talents and unique presentation. The orchestra will perform some of the most popular music in the classical repertoire, and I know the audience is in for quite a time—both audibly and visually. It’s the type of show in which the audience will use all their senses, and will come away with a feeling that they’ve experienced something very special!”

The program also includes Julius Fucik’s “Entrance of the Gladiators,” Antonin Dvorák’s Slavonic Dance No. 7 in C Major, Jean Sibelius’ “Finlandia,” Ottorino Respighi’s “Tarantella” from “La Boutique Fantasque (The Fantastic Toy Shop),” selections from Manuel de Falla’s “La Vida Breve” and “El Amor Brujo,” and pieces from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol” and “The Snow Maiden.”

“One doesn’t usually hear gasps, oohs and aahs from a symphony orchestra audience, but then one doesn't usually see a woman dangling by her feet from a hoop that swings high above the lip of the stage as an orchestra plays,” said Elaine Schmidt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The aerial acts are breathtaking, with performers working high above the stage without nets or wires. The tumbling, juggling and strong man acts, which take place on the stage in front of the orchestra, are equally gripping and polished.”

“Cirque de la Symphonie” combines the extraordinary talents and extended experience of its performers: Alexander Streltsov, Christine Van Loo, Shana Lord, Vitalii Buza, "Duo Design," Aloysia Gavre, Andrey Moraru. Vladimir Tsarkov, Alina Sergeeva and Nate Nordine.

Streltsov is a Russian aerial artist who started working with famed cirque choreographer Pavel Brun and producer Valentin Gneushev when he was only 12, performing on Broadway at the Gershwin Theater. The same year he won the gold medal in the competition among international cirque artists at the prestigious Festival Mondial Du Cirque De L’Avenir in Paris. He continues to be a favorite at music halls, where he soars out over the audience in a spectacular display of aerial artistry or when he sets his riveting spinning cube act in motion.

Van Loo is a seven-time consecutive National Champion, Female Olympic Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Decade in acrobatic gymnastics. She was inducted into the U.S.S.A. (acro-gymnastics) Hall of Fame and the World Acrobatics Society Gallery of Honor. As a professional aerialist and acrobat she has performed in the 2002 Winter Olympics, at two Grammy Awards (with No Doubt and with Ricky Martin), at the American Music Awards (with Aerosmith), the Miss Universe pageant and Paul McCartney’s European tour. Van Loo provides spell-binding performances of aerial silks, rope, lira and trapeze with Cirque de la Symphonie.

Lord is an accomplished acrobat and dancer, and has traveled the world with many of the best cirque programs, including Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam. She has been a featured performer with Disney in Japan and Sea World’s Cirque de la Mer. Television appearances include “The Today Show,” the “Grammy Awards,” “MTV Video Music Awards” and others. Lord has performed with music artists such as Gwen Stefani, Will Smith and Anastacia. She is an accomplished performer with aerial silks, rope, hammock, bungees, Chinese poles, duo trapeze and her self-designed aerial web act.

Buza began his gymnastic training in the Republic of Moldova, and soon competed as an elite gymnast with the Russian national team. At the age of 16, he joined the Moscow State Circus as a professional acrobat and toured throughout Europe. He has been featured in numerous TV ads and won a role in the Walt Disney movie Enchanted. Buza also performed at the 2006 Latin Grammy Awards, the 2007 NFL Pro Bowl, 2010 Academy Awards and the 2011 Latin Billboard Awards. Buza excels in multiple cirque acts, such as duo hand-balancing, straps, Cyr wheel, spinning cube, Chinese pole and the Russian bar.

"Duo Design" combines mind-boggling strength and agility and provides one of the most powerful acts to be included in Cirque de la Symphonie’s captivating program. This dynamic and exciting balancing act consists of Jaroslaw Marciniak and Mariusz Pietrzak, former Polish national hand-balancing champions. Over the past few years, these prolific performers have thrilled audiences at several NBA halftimes, Cirque du Soleil, Circus Circus, Busch Gardens and the national tour of Cirque Ingenieux.

Gavre is an incredible aerial performer from the Ecole Nationale de Cirque program of Montreal, with early training from Master Lu-Yi and the Pickle Family Circus School. Her aerial acrobatics and graceful maneuvers on the aerial hoop, suspended high above the stage, add three-dimensional excitement to the symphony and the music hall. Aloysia was the Special Prize Winner at the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo. A veteran of stage and theater performances worldwide, Aloysia is best known as a veteran of Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” and “O.”

Moraru is a native of Kiev, Ukraine, and a graduate of the prestigious Kiev Circus School where he trained hand balancing under the legendary Vitold Kuvshinov. Upon graduating with an act fused with both balance and dance, Moraru joined the cast of Le Reve, directed by Franco Dragone in Las Vegas as a hand balancing specialist. After many years with Le Reve, Moraru pursued a solo career, which brought opportunities in Europe for numerous cabarets, variety shows and circuses, including “Flic Flac” from Germany.

Tsarkov comes from a famous circus family rich in the traditions of Russian circus artistry. Trained by masters in the circus arts, he exhibits exceptional talents and skills in all of his performances. His “mystery guest” juggling act is a fascinating blend of illusion and juggling skills. Tsarkov is an international star, having performed in major productions from Las Vegas to Korea. He enchanted audiences of Busch Gardens cirque shows and is a regular performer with Cirque de la Symphonie productions. He is one of the most multi-talented performers in the business today, with performances that include various juggling acts, the spinning frame and cube, diabolos and an assortment of spellbinding acts of illusion.

Sergeeva is a third generation circus performer from Russia. She began performing on stage at age 3 with her family in a hand-balancing adagio act with her father, later branching out into various acts such as aerial silks, lira and hoops. Sergeeva’s professional performances have taken her to South America, Europe and Asia. Sergeeva has starred in numerous Cirque de la Symphonie productions as an amazing hula hoops performer, with accompanying hand balancing, acrobatic and contortion skills. Her mastery of illusion include the amazing quick change and magic jacket acts.

Nordine is the youngest performer in Cirque de la Symphonie’s troop, and one of the most talented as well. He is capable of the most incredible feats involving flexibility and contortion. Nordine began his cirque career in his hometown of Los Angeles and has trained with Le Petit Cirque, Cirque School in Hollywood and Ecole Nacionale de Cirque in Montreal. His early performances included Cirque du Monde, Jaimie Lee Curtis’s “Dream Halloween” and several spots on television. Nordine made his debut on stage with Cirque de la Symphonie and Pacific Symphony at age 10. An avid multi-instrumentalist musician, Nate plays guitar, violin, cello, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon and flute.

The Symphony’s Pops series receives additional support from American Airlines, Avenue of the Arts Wyndham Hotel, K-Earth 101 and PBS SoCal.