CIRQUE de la Symphonie

erial flyers, jugglers, strongmen and balancers of Cirque de la Symphonie return by popular demand to perform to the magical music of Maestro Andre Raphel and the Wheeling Symphony at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.

Cirque de la Symphonie is an exciting production formed to bring the magic of cirque to the music hall. The troupe first performed with the Wheeling Symphony in the 200809 season where the performers were received by a large enthusiastic and spellbound audience at WesBanco Arena.

This thrilling adaptation of cirque performances on a stage shared with the symphony showcases many of the best artists in the world, bedazzling the audience with aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers and strongmen. They are among the most accomplished veterans of exceptional cirque programs throughout the world.

The artists are the best in the business at what they do, and they include world record holders, gold-medal winners of international competitions and some of the most original talent seen anywhere. Each artist’s performance is choreographed to the music that will be performed.

When the artists of Cirque de la Symphonie perform in front of the full orchestra, an incredible fusion of these two great art forms takes place. The aerialists and acrobats turn the concert into a three-dimensional entertainment extravaganza, and the orchestra seems to play with enhanced enthusiasm.

This performance is a Wheeling Symphony College Concert Series event presented by Wheeling Jesuit University. This College Concert Series gives students from 10 area colleges the opportunity to attend at no cost. In addition, faculty and staff at all 10 institutions of higher learning can receive half-price tickets to this performance.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Wheeling Symphony box office at 1025 Main St., Suite 811, Wheeling, or by calling 304-232-6191.

Performing at the Capitol Theatre with the Wheeling Symphony will be:

  • Alexander 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.

His combination of natural strength, artistic expression and grace sets his performance apart from other aerialists. Also known as “Sasha,” he has performed for three Russian presidents and the Bolshoi Ballet, numerous symphonies in the United States and Europe, and elaborate theater and stage productions worldwide. He has made many television appearances. He continues be a favorite at music halls, where he soars out over the audience in a spectacular display of aerial artistry or performs his riveting spinning cube act.

  • Jaroslaw Marciniak and Dariusz Wronski provide one of the most powerful acts to be included in Cirque de la Symphonie’s captivating program. They are former Polish national hand-balancing champions.

They have competed and performed throughout Europe and the United States, winning championships in Evian, France, and Sarasota, Fla. 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.

  • Aloysia Gavre is another incredible aerial performer from the Ecole National de Cirque, 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.

Gavre was the special prize winner at the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo. A veteran of stage and theater performances worldwide, she is best known as a veteran of Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” and “O.” Her five years with Quidam established her as one of the best aerial artists in the world. Today, she shares that experience with others as choreographer for Cirque Mechanics and Troupe Vertigo and as director of Cirque School in Los Angeles.

  • Vladimir Tsarkov provides a spell-binding performance with combinations of mime and juggling feats. A favorite of younger members of the audience, his Red Harlequin act features rings, balls and batons. He is a veteran of Circus Circus, Cirque Ingenieux and various Cirque de la Symphonie performances. He graduated from Russia’s prestigious State College of Circus and Theater Arts and won the gold medal at the Cirque de Demain International Festival in France.
  • Christine Van Loo is a seven-time consecutive national champion, female Olympic athlete of the year and athlete of the decade in acrobatic gymnastics. She provides spell-binding performances of aerial silks, rope, lira and trapeze with Cirque de la Symphonie.

She was inducted into the USSA (acro-gymnastics) Hall of Fame and the World Acrobatics Society Gallery of Honor.

As a professional aerialist and acrobat, she performed in the 2002 Winter Olympics, at two Grammy Award ceremonies, at the American Music Awards, the Miss Universe pageant and Paul McCartney’s European tour. She was a trainer and performer with NBC’s Celebrity Circus, and she choreographed the aerials for Britney Spears’ world tour and the Stars on Ice U.S. tour.

  • Elena Tsarkova, the “Lady in White,” is a graduate of the famed Moscow Circus School and first-place winner of the prestigious National Russian Circus Festival. From her “Master of Sports” in gymnastics, she developed into a graceful performer with the Big Apple Circus, Switzerland’s Circus Knie and Germany’s Circus Roncalli. Her combination of contortion, balance and graceful dance moves has made her a major star with Cirque de la Mur in Florida and Circus Circus in Las Vegas.

Her experience with many major stage and theater productions offers a professional background that allows for a truly unforgettable performance with the live symphony. The “Lady in White” provides an elegant touch to Cirque de la Symphonie.