Clear Cirque du Soleil Crystal is a Sheffield show not to be missed

If Dancing on Ice has piqued your interest in ice skating, Cirque du Soleil Crystal will ignite your passion.

From its humble origins as a band of French-Canadian street performers more than 35 years ago, Cirque du Soleil has grown into an international supercircus, entertaining audiences around the globe with visual extravaganzas which must be seen to be believed.

But while Cirque du Soleil has been pushing the boundaries of possibility for decades, Crystal is the first time it has taken its show onto the ice – with Sheffield’s FlyDSA Arena the first stop on its UK tour.

Crystal is more than just an impressive ice show.

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    It combines world-class skating with the beauty and drama of a ballet, the jaw-dropping spectacle of a circus and a creative accompaniment of light and music which transforms the rink into new worlds before your eyes.

    The entertainment starts as the audience begins to take their seats with skaters taking to what looks like a frozen lake in a park while a wandering band plays jaunty music and the troupe’s resident clown starts snowball fights with some of the spectators.

    In fact, the pre-show performance is so engaging, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d got the start time wrong but don’t worry, once the action really starts, you’ll know about it.

    The acrobatic stunts, skating routines and aerial displays are tied together with a loose narrative, although the story is often very abstract.

    The main character – a flame-haired girl called Crystal – has a vivid imagination and seems to inhabit her own dream world, much to the frustration of her parents and teachers.

    Failing to fit in with the conventions demanded by those around her, she seeks freedom by skating alone on a frozen pond.

    When cracks form in the ice, she is plunged into an alternate underwater reality where she learns to accept herself as she is.

    As well as the skating, there are the usual acts you’d expect at a circus, including slapstick comedy, gravity-defying trapeze displays and breathtaking balancing acts.

    Cirque du Soleil Crystal is on at Sheffield's FlyDSA Arena.

    But Crystal also includes things you will never have seen before, from a pianist playing a see-through grand piano as it spins across the ice to stunt skaters flying up and down ramps on their blades, performing the kind of jumps usually reserved for rollerskates.

    If you want edge-of-your-seat excitement and a show which stimulates all your senses, it’s crystal clear that you need some Cirque du Soleil in your life.

    Cirque du Soleil Crystal continues at FlyDSA Arena today and tomorrow, before embarking on a UK tour, which includes shows in Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham next month.

    Reflection is one of the scenes in Crystal.
    A balancing act in the finale of Cirque du Soleil's Crystal show.