Water stage sets tone for Cirque Italia show


What: Cirque Italia Water Circus

When: 7:30 p.m. today and Friday; 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Southern Park Mall parking lot

Tickets: start at $10; available in advance by calling 941-8572




Cirque Italia’s Water Circus is looking to make a splash at its Mahoning Valley debut.

The new concept starts with traditional European-style circus artists – acrobats, jugglers, aerialists, clowns – and adds a water element and rock-style lighting. The performers are on a stage that is surrounded by a moat, with a curtain of water and fountain jets along the sides.

Cirque Italia will set up in a large tent in the parking lot of Southern Park Mall. Eight performances are scheduled between tonight and Sunday.

Sarah Kessler, a spokesperson for the Florida-based outfit, described what audiences will see.

“There is a portable stage that holds 35,000 gallons of water,” she said, “and a water curtain that marries sound, music and lights to the performance. It’s like a dance club.”

The Water Circus idea originated 2012, a creation of Manuel Rebecchi.

A native of Milan, Italy, Rebecchi spent his teenage years traveling throughout Europe with his late aunt Moira Orfei, who ran the largest circus on the continent.

“He grew up with a love of the circus, and when he came [to America] he wanted to do something different,” said Kessler. “He loves water, so he incorporated it into the show.”

There are only three water stages in the world – one in Las Vegas, another in Dubai, and the third in Cirque Italia’s shows.

One thing the Water Circus does not have is animals.

Instead, the shows – which include artists from throughout the world — put the focus on the pole acrobats, trampolinists, contortionists and other performers.

“It emphasizes human strength and capabilities,” said Kessler.

Cirque Italia’s Water Circus takes place in a climate-controlled big top.

“The farthest seat away is only 40 feet from the stage,” said Kessler. “It’s an intimate setting.”

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