Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal comes to the Greater Seattle area April 10-14

Image by Cirque Du Soleil CRYSTAL

Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd production, Crystal is the first-ever ice experience from Cirque du Soleil and it’s exciting to see the acts that will unfold on a frozen playground.

Crystal is performed on a bed of ice where talented acrobats and skaters will join hands to create a fabulous show. Crystal is coming to Everett at the Angel of the Winds Arena from April 10th-14th. With this new creation, Cirque du Soleil explores the essence of skating, bringing its signature style of acrobatics into uncharted territory—a sheet of ice—and blurring the boundaries between gliding sports and circus arts.

You can book your tickets here.

Julie Desmarais, the show’s publicist tells us, “It’s the first time we’re performing on ice! It required a lot of R&D to see how we could implement the elements of ice skating with acrobatics. Dealing with ice came with its own set of challenges—but we managed to turn them into opportunities. For example, for Jorge’s juggler act—we required the juggling balls to bounce on ice. We finally found that silicone balls do the job well! The slippery surface is an all-new thing but the show remains as entertaining as ever.  It is a family-oriented show that people of all ages will enjoy thoroughly.”

We spoke to Jorge Petit, the juggler with Chrystal about his journey and what led him to where he is today.

Jorge Petit. Photo credit: Cirque Du Soleil

Seattleite: Could you tell me a little about your growing up days and how you started to juggle?

Jorge: I am from Chile and started juggling in 2002 when I was 15. I got intrigued when I saw some friends doing it and wanted to try my hand at it. It was pure curiosity and I started off with the basic three ball cascade. I took me about a week to master this on my own—this was way before the days of Youtube and I had no one to teach me. When I teach someone today, it takes them about 15 minutes or so to learn it.

Seattleite: How did you learn from there on?

Jorge: From there on, the internet helped me. Although Youtube wasn’t around then, big jugglers did have their own websites where I picked up tips and tricks from. There is also a big juggling community in Chile. There was a forum where we could exchange information and that was really helpful.

Seattleite: When did you decide to pursue juggling professionally?

Jorge: Five years after I started learning, I started to perform. Once I started performing, I realized just how much I liked it. In Chile, there were no professional jugglers at that time, it was more of a hobby. Ten years into juggling, I was pretty sure that I wanted to pursue it for a living. I just didn’t know how yet.

Seattleite: How often do you practice your craft?

Jorge: I practice every day for an hour or two, depending on my schedule for the day. When I’m performing, I like to practice for at least an hour before a show to work on my technique.

Seattleite: Do you have any mentor figures in the industry?

Jorge: There are two inspirational jugglers in my life—Stefan Sing from Germany and Maksim Komaro from Finland. Both have inspired me to juggle the way I juggle today.

Seattleite: What are the highs and lows of working as a juggler?

Jorge: Even if you practice up to three hours a day, there’s still a slight chance that you might drop the ball during a 6-minute act. Juggling is very fragile. Also, when I’m training—I’m in comfortable clothes and by myself. When I’m performing, I’m usually on skates and there are lots of other people around. So I’m juggling things, both literally and figuratively, at that time.

The high, really is, how much I enjoy doing it. Even if I have a bad day, I know the next day I’ll be out there, juggling again.

Seattleite: If not a juggler, what would you have been?

Jorge: A designer—I love to design clothes and often design for my close friends. Vintage fashion is one of my biggest passions.

Seattleite: How has your association with Cirque du Soleil been so far?

Jorge: It’s been an exciting two years, full of learning, growth and new possibilities. The production has taught me a lot about self-discipline and the importance of being consistent.