Ep 137. Shana Carroll: Director of Crystal - the First Show on Ice from Cirque du Soleil
Jan 24, 2018 · 51 min
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Shana Carroll is a Founding Director at the 7 Fingers from Montreal, Quebec. She was a trapeze artist before becoming an acrobatic designer and choreographer at Cirque du Soleil.

After interviewing a number of acrobats from Cirque, my listeners requested to learn more about people behind the scenes. Therefore I started researching directors, creators, storytellers from various shows. Shana jumped out at me, not only because she's been an integral part of many major Cirque shows, but also her daring nature in taking on new projects that have never been done before. 

She was an Artistic Director for Paramour in New York City. Paramour was the first-ever Cirque du Soleil and Broadway collaboration. There were plenty of very positive but also negative reviews about the show. I absolutely loved it and watched it for four times with families and friendly. Not to mention that my two friends, Andi and Kevin Atherton, were headliners in Paramour. 

Most recently, Shana was asked to create the first-ever, on-ice experience for Cirque called CRYSTAL

How does it work? Will it work? Shana didn't know the answers. In fact, nobody knew. 

In recent years, Cirque du Soleil received criticism for having "too much of the same thing". Some viewers openly complained on social media that many of the acts in the shows are repetitive. Once you've seen one, you've seen them all. 

Though I find this conclusion highly inaccurate, I could see why some people, especially those who go to more than one show, might feel this way. After all, acrobatic acts have a limited number of traditional and modern acts, and it takes years if not a lifetime to perfect the training.

Today, special effects have brainwashed many people to believe that anything is possible (snap your fingers and expect to be blown away completely). Hence it takes even more for circus acts to impress people - children and adults! 

Creating a Cirque show on the ice was no easy endeavor. Shana spoke with me in great details about the creative process and how she navigated rounds of approvals to get the idea across without any actors or actresses in her meetings. "That was the hardest part." She told me. Shana needed to convey an idea that is entirely based on acts, movements, and music through her own words. 

The creative elements of Crystal were finally approved and that was when the rubber meets the road. Shana had to make the show work. She tells us how world-class skaters work with Cirque acrobats; how different acts transition through the stage (full-size ice arenas); how everyone comes together once a month during a workshop to refine their acts. 

Before our conversation, I saw Shana's career choice as new and exciting. Many would probably agree. However, meet --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/feisworld/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/feisworld/support

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