Cirque d’Art hosted their summer show at West Portsmouth Elementary this weekend with a full-house each night, it was one of the best shows yet.
For those who may not know, Cirque d’Art is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary performing arts program that features instruction in dance, ballet, acrobats, tumbling and circus aerial arts like trapeze, hoops, webs and ladders.
The show, The Valyrian Chronicles, was conceptualized, written and choreographed by directors Pegi Wilkes and Trisha Schmidt, making the show a once-of-a-kind, never before seen experience for both the cast and the audience.
The Valyrian Chronicles tells about a young prince named Galwyn and his fight to take back his homeland from Dissenters. As an infant, Galwyn is placed into the care of Wizard Mordecai, who vows to train and protect him. Dissenters split the kingdom into four realms, the time has come for Galwyn to unite his kingdom and take back the throne.
“I think the audience really enjoyed a show with a narrative structure. It’s funny, my nephew came to the show and he said, ‘well I guess we’ll have to come back, because I’ve got to know the rest of the story.’ The show ends with a little bit of a cliffhanger. They’ll probably be a part two coming,” said Schmidt.
With over 200 students participating, putting together a show of this enormity was no easy task, but according to Schmidt, it went over well.
“Everyone works really well together, I think that’s something that’s very special about Cirque. A lot of times you have to really rely on your partner to do the things that need to be done,” said Schmidt. “A lot of our aerial routines require somebody working with them to either set the equipment so that it’s moving in the right direction or they or actually on a piece of equipment with somebody else. When you’re doing something like that, you have to not only take care of yourself, but you have to keep an eye on, and make sure your partner is okay too.”
Lexie Coriell has been involved with Cirque d’Art for almost 10 years. In this performance, Coriell performed a tap routine on top of scaffolding in addition, she participated in ballet and acrobatic routines. Coriell also debuted on the newest piece of equipment, a metal flower that hangs from the ceiling. Coriell and 3 other performers used the flower as part of an aerial routine.
“I think everyone did really well. I think it’s one of our best June performances because it had an obvious story line. The most dificult part about this show was the quick changes, a lot of people had to run off after a dance to get ready for the next, but that’s just part of the fun,” said Coriell.
Now that the show is said and done, Schmidt says the best part of putting on a show like this is seeing how happy it makes the students.
“It’s really not about Pegi and I. It’s about the kids getting out there and having a great time,” Schmidt explained. “Seeing their smiling faces and them getting excited about being in the costumes, those are the things that I really cherish the most. It doesn’t matter if the routine is perfect or someone falls down, as long as they have doing what they’re doing. If someone misses a cue, whatever, it doesn’t matter. I just want them to get on stage and have a great time.”
But the fun is far from over, the studio will have several more shows throughout the year. With their Spook-Tacular show and a performance of Dracula in October, the Nutcracker in December, the St. Patrick’s Day performance and the Spring-Fling, the students will continue their hard-work.
“Each show is unique and it’s a nice way for them to show their families and the community what they’ve been working on,” said Schmidt.
For more information about Cirque d’Art, you can visit www.somacc.com or their Facebook Page, “The Cirque d’Art Theatre,” you can also call 740-353-8656.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara