A jungle spectacle in Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

A jungle spectacle in Beaver Creek

Sarah Mausolfsmausolf@vaildaily.comBeaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado Neil Goldberg scours the globe to cast his Cirque Dreams shows. His talent scouts search acrobatic associations in Asia, Olympic training facilities abroad and even a school of contortion in Mongolia to find the worlds best performers.Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy, set for Tuesday night at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, features 25 cast members including aerialists, contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians.Combined they transform the stage into a magical forest. Nearly 200 costumes turn the performers into jungle creatures. Owls and butterflies soar through the air, a human tree plays violin and a Russian juggler dressed as a frog plays drums and symbols by juggling balls on them.Goldberg said the show appeals to a wide range of age groups. Its very broad, he said. We see children as young as four to six and adults who are 96. And you know the great thing about it: Theres no language barrier. Its a visual kaleidoscope.The show follows a young boy who adventures into the jungle, where he encounters mother nature and every creature imaginable, Goldberg said. The set consists of a bizarre, abstract collection of giant trees, mushrooms, flowers and vines, he said. Although the first half of the show takes place during the day, the second half plunges into night. Invisible ultraviolet paint coats the sets and the costumes, making them come to life under the glow of 40,000 watts of ultraviolet light, Goldberg said.

Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy debuted in 2006 at the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Performers enjoyed a 12-week run on Broadway before going on tour. The original Broadway cast comes to Beaver Creek as part of a United States tour that ends in Puerto Rico in 2009.When he conceived the jungle fantasy idea, Goldberg said he wanted to come up with an idea everyone could relate to. The creative process started in 2004, he said. It was a two-year process to design and create the show and train the artists to do what we needed them to do. For example, the aerialists know what they are doing but disguising them as butterflies and owls so they could fly through the air and simultaneously play the roles of those particular species was a year-long process.The jungle fantasy marks the 12th show from the Cirque Productions in Florida. Three more shows are in the works. Cirque Dreams Holidaze debuts next year. Its about 50 Christmas ornaments dangling from a 30-foot tree. As the ornaments fall one by one, they come to life and do something magical, Goldberg said. Also in the works, Cirque Dreams: Illumination, set in the city of lights, starts touring in 2010, while Cirque Dreams Gershwin reinvents George Gershwins music and opens in 2011.High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

What: Cirque Dreams Jungle FantasyWhen: Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver CreekCost: $55 to $80More information: Call 888-920-2787 or visit http://www.vilarpac.org.

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