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Cirque le Masque up, up and away in Athens December 13, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Stage & Theater.

Shows by New York’s acrobatic troupe kick off tonight

The striking spectacle ‘Carnivale’ is being staged at the Dais Cultural Center in Paradeisos, Maroussi, through Christmas Day

Much-awaited performances of the New York-based acrobatic ensemble Cirque le Masque will finally open at the Dais Cultural Center, situated in the Doukas Schools in Maroussi, tomorrow. The 17 scheduled shows, which have been designed to appeal to both children and grown-ups, will run through Christmas Day and will take place in a theater especially constructed for the occasion.

The shows promise breathtaking acrobatics, a lot of laughter, striking special effects, colorful costumes and great music. Following the Cirque du Soleil, this modern type of circus, which does not include animals, is the evolution of the older, traditional circus we are accustomed to.

The Cirque le Masque, an offshoot of New York’s legendary Circus Dance Theater, is coming to town with 30 performers, acrobats and artists from Mexico, Germany, Italy, Canada and the former Soviet Union, to present its latest production, a fairy-tale spectacle titled “Carnivale.”

The two-hour show, created by Dennis Schussel who has spent many years in the acrobatic world, consists of 16 stories. After a serious accident he had as a professional acrobat, Schussel opted to continue his career as a director. “That incident took place at a time when I had reached a peak in my life. It may have closed some doors for me, but it also opened other doors that I never imagined existed. After all, a dancer cannot go on dancing throughout all his life; at some point the body experiences the relentless wear of time and has to accept it.”

The Cirque le Masque travels around the world staging fascinating spectacles wherever it may be. One hundred people worked until the very last minute to set up a theater with a 1,300-seat capacity for the Athens shows. “I wanted to create a show where every audience member could experience the beat of the movements as if they were on stage themselves,” explained Dennis Schussel.

“I have been influenced by painters from the Renaissance, which explains the colors of our show, and by the contemporary art scene,” said the artistic director, who visited Athens four years ago with “Fire and Ice” at Athens College.

“Carnivale” is being staged at the Dais Cultural Center, Doukas Schools, 151 Mesogeion Avenue, Paradeisos, Maroussi, tel 210 6186060. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Virgin Megastore music stores, at Village cinemas around Athens and at Ticket Shop, tel 211 9559900.

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