Visual Overload 

The goal of the eccentric costumes, whimsical performances and bizarre sets in Cirque Dreams Illumination is to fish out the images, emotions and sensations from the clouded waters of dreams—and bring them to life.

The show, which arrives at Centennial Hall this weekend, includes everything that a circus-type extravaganza should have, including acrobats, jugglers, contortionists and theatrics. It also boasts an array of original scored world music, as well as unorthodox ballet.

The elaborate costumes alone may be enough to keep your attention through this 135-minute show. Add the mind-bending display of performers twisting, flipping and flying gracefully across the stage, and the creative and dynamic display promises to keep even the youngest patron's eyes glued to the stage.

"We had Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy back in (2007). ... It was fabulous, a near sell-out," recalls Jo Alenson, the director of marketing for UApresents. "It's very much a family show. It was able to keep the attention of a wide age group. It is the only cirque-type program to appear on Broadway. The costuming is amazing; there are over 200 costumes, spectacular stage sets and original music—and it's affordable."

Alenson said that this show has a fresh setting and new acts, making it a new experience for those who enjoyed the performance back in 2007.

One of the aforementioned new acts is by Los Angeles native, Robert Muraine, who gained popularity after his 2008 performance on the TV show So You Think You Can Dance. Muraine will be featuring his signature style of popping and liquid dancing.

Due to the name and nature of the Cirque Dreams shows, they are often compared with the famous Cirque du Soleil productions. Alenson claims that the production values of the Cirque Dreams performances are equally as spectacular, yet the affordability allows a broader audience to enjoy the show. Alenson says that more than 50 million people worldwide, have attended Cirque Dreams' performances in the past decade.

Although the narration and songs are performed in English, the Cirque Dreams performers come from all over the world, including Mongolia, Russia, the Ukraine and Cuba, with their various cultures are showcased.

Alenson said that the setup for the stage is quite intense, as producers will be converting the UA's Centennial Hall stage to accommodate the 27-piece ensemble cast and their array of tricks and talents.

"It's amazing acrobatics and visual effects. What these people do is absolutely unbelievable, (considering) how dramatic it is," said Alenson. "They perform on this very high, large stage with no nets and nothing to protect them, and they do amazing things. I don't know how you overcome fear to do some of the things they do. It's astonishing."

This will be Cirque Dreams' first Arizona stop on their current Western tour. The Cirque Dreams productions were created by Goldberg in 1993 and have led to multiple shows, with varying themes.

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