A peek behind the curtain of Criss Angel’s “Believe”

Cirque du Soleil

A mischievous white rabbit peeks from behind a red curtain; above it Criss Angel’s Severus Snape eyes stare out of the poster promoting his upcoming Cirque de Soleil show, Believe. The poster begs the question, what’s behind the curtain?

If it’s anything like the August sneak peak performance on So You Think You Can Dance? by Believe’s Cirque de Soleil cast, it’s something that will captivate your imagination and may even frighten you a little. Entitled “Homage to all of the rabbits who died in the hands of incompetent magicians,” the number, featured a cast of gothic, whimsical dancing rabbits that evoke a child's storybook, a dream threatening to turn into a nightmare.

Peak at Criss Angel's 'Believe' - from YouTube.com

The piece was choreographed by dance legend Wade Robson, a prodigy known for choreographing Britney Spears’ tour performances when he was still in his teens, and is a play on contrasts. Costumed as rabbits, the ensemble dances through a polite society ballroom number sporting fanciful, Victorian period costumes designed by Quebec-born Meredith Caron set to music composed by Paris native Eric Serra. It is disturbing and pretty; dark and light, raw and refined.

“I find the links between attraction and rejection, good and evil, and sexual urges extremely interesting. This is the world I investigate in my creations," says Believe’s co-writer and director, Serge Denoncourt on the Believe Web site. Believe, which begins its run at the Luxor on Halloween, will encompass acts of illusion, Cirque de Soleil-type dancing and acrobatics, strange and fanciful creatures, an elaborate set and an overarching storyline. “Criss Angel stars as a surreal, enigmatic Victorian Noble,” explains the site. “Along a path of imaginative exploration, he encounters Kayala and Crimson, two women who represent different aspects of femininity, four bizarre Ushers, who will introduce the audience to the baroque theater of Criss’ mind and a high-energy troupe of characters and dancers…”

“Expect the unexpected,” Angel has said of the show, “because this show is beyond my wildest fantasy, beyond anything I could even comprehend, beyond anything the world of entertainment has ever seen. My real inspiration was to create an experience that would not be about how something works, but how you feel when you watch it.”


Jennifer Grafiada

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