Scott Smith joins Cirque du Soleil for ‘Crystal,’ its first ever show on ice

By : Kathy Ruiz
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Cirque du Soleil has been performing extreme circus acts blended with elegant dance, music and costuming since the mid-1980s. But there is one stage it has not taken on among the variety of shows Cirque du Soleil has performed in its more than 30 years—until now.

Cirque du Soleil’s newest show, “Crystal,” features gymnasts and world-class ice skaters performing acrobatics in the air and on the ice, simultaneously.

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07.12.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I’m not a very religious person. Actually, I’m not religious in the traditional sense at all. Organized religion and I have not seen eye to eye for some time. That’s not a secret to those who know me well, but sometimes I find it harder to admit that to people than to say that I am a gay man.

In a previous article of mine, I described in detail a story of how I felt manipulated by “the church,” which was the beginning of the end for me. I then attended a very religious college, which to a young and outspoken liberal just seemed like a propaganda machine and torture device.

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Florida’s drag families prove Mum’s the word

By : Ryan Williams-Jent, Divine Grace
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Drag culture is intrinsically tied to the LGBTQ community, from Stonewall to the life-dependent lip-syncs now featured weekly on VH1. Now more than ever it borders on the mainstream, with the art form highlighted (and contoured) on televisions worldwide and available now on iTunes.

As drag paints itself even further into the history of pop culture, it can be easy to forget that it has its detractors, often found in the safe spaces drag performers share. It can lead to camaraderie amongst entertainers as they gravitate toward one another for belonging and assistance, creating both a sense of family and of home.

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Joey Arrigo leads Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA to Tampa

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Out aerialist, dancer and choreographer Joey Arrigo portrays the lead in VOLTA, Cirque du Soleil’s 41st original production, but his story with the largest theatrical producer in the world actually began at age 5 with a VHS tape.

He says he watched his parents’ VHS tape, which featured one of the company’s first shows, “so many times, not even really comprehending what it was and what it even took to get there.” More importantly, he asserts, it “sparked something in me.”

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1.25.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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It’s good to be back. Last issue Jeremy Williams took over this space in Central Florida and Ryan Willams-Jent wrote the column for Tampa Bay. They will continue their columns every other issue, and I will continue mine in the alternating weeks.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have been on a journey to live a healthier and better life—while I still have a few good years ahead of me. There is the physical: regular personal training sessions with Max Dunley at Rock Hard Fitness, eating well, LASIK and braces. There is also the mental, or my version of spirituality. With the help of a twelve step program, I spend a lot of time looking at my past to understand the responsibility I have in the choices I’ve made in the hopes that I will make better decisions in the future.

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Central Florida Overheard: Cirque-le back

By : Anonymous
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When it was publicized Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba, which opened in 1998 at Downtown Disney, would be closing and no new show was immediately announced, many began to speculate what would Disney open in its place?

The House of Mouse renovated and redesigned Downtown Disney and re-opened it as Disney Springs in 2016. Did they have plans of their own for that theater?

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The Creative City Project is launching again, and October can’t come soon enough

By : Brendan O'Connor
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In 2012, Cole NeSmith decided to rub Orlando’s face into its own Creative Culture.

NeSmith decided to create an event that could not only showcase our homegrown talent, but also take over our public spaces, and transform our community through art, if only for one night. It’s a chance for local artists and organizations to shake off the accrued institutionalized dust that comes from operating behind closed doors, and reveal themselves to their public, en masse … a flasher flash mob, if you will. And the public loves it. Each year more artists take part, and each year more and more people turn out to see them. Downtown Orlando’s fourth annual celebration of local creative culture is ramping up for one of the biggest years yet.

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Avatar acrobats, a Pride cruise, Christmas in Ybor and LGBT library collection at USF

By : Anonymous
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They’re blue, da ba dee da ba die
Have you longed to see the giant, blue nature-loving Na’vi tribe tangling tails since seeing them in James Cameron’s 2009 smash hit AVATAR? If so, you are not alone. The high flying acrobats of Cirque du Soleil are joining Cameron to bring the alien race to life with their new show TORUK – The First Flight, and they just announced they are coming to the Amalie Arena in Tampa March 17-20, 2016. Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale of two male friends on the brink of adulthood set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR. Make sure to get your tickets to what is sure to be the best show this side of Pandora.

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Cirque du Soleil brings the magic of Michael Jackson to Florida

By : Greg Stemm
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When Fernando Miro turned 20, he took a leap of faith and left his native Puerto Rico to pursue a career in Las Vegas. Now 26-years-old, the out dancer is part of the largest Cirque Du Soleil traveling experience in the organization’s history. He’s on the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour, which stops in Gainesville May 13 and 14 and the Tampa Bay Times Forum May 20 and 21.

Miro was hired by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas as part of the resident performance there. He says the Cirque du Soleil organization often hires from within its own ranks for new shows, which is how he came to become part of this tour.

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