Cirque de la Symphonie Returns for the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Annual A Carolina Christmas!

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (November 4, 2022) – Now in its 10th year, the Winston-Salem Symphony’s A Carolina Christmas! has established itself as a beloved holiday tradition for the entire Triad. This season, Cirque de la Symphonie returns to thrill audiences with a show filled with acrobatic artistry and family fun all choreographed to favorite holiday music. Concertgoers will experience high-flying routines performed by accomplished acrobats and some of the most original talents to step into the concert hall. Guest Conductor Chelsea Tipton, II leads the orchestra in a selection of popular seasonal music that will send spirits soaring as the holiday season kicks off.

A Carolina Christmas! with Cirque de la Symphonie takes place on Saturday, November 26, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 27, at 3 p.m. at the R.J. Reynolds Auditorium, 301 N. Hawthorne Road, in Winston-Salem. Tickets begin at $25 and are available from the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145 or online at wssymphony.org.

Merritt Vale, Winston-Salem Symphony President & CEO, says, A Carolina Christmas is a magical way to begin your holiday season. When the talents of the orchestra and the thrills of Cirque de la Symphonie come together with your favorite Christmas carols and holiday melodies, it is sure to delight audiences of all ages.”

Cirque de la Symphonie is a troupe of performers who bring the magic of cirque to the music hall. For more than 10 years, they have thrilled and dazzled veteran concertgoers and new patrons as they watch accomplished aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers, and strongmen perform to live symphony music. The performers include world record holders, gold-medal winners of international competitions, Olympians, and some of the most experienced cirque talents ever seen. Their performances are choreographed to music arranged in collaboration with the conductor. When the artists of Cirque de la Symphonie perform in front of the full orchestra, an incredible fusion of these two great art forms occurs. The aerialists and acrobats turn the concert into a three-dimensional entertainment extravaganza, and the audience and orchestra alike are inspired by the action above their heads. 

Alexander Streltsov created the concept of cirque paired with the Symphony in 1998 in a special PBS production with the Cincinnati Pops. Streltsov, a circus veteran from Moscow, is the only aerialist to perform with the Bolshoi Ballet. After winning the gold medal at the prestigious Festival du Mondial in Paris, he starred in a Broadway production. His music and programming sensibilities, combined with his performance background, provide a program with stunning three-dimensional visual and musical elements. Classical masterpieces are perfectly choreographed to the elegant movements of cirque artists, elevating cirque artistry to the level of fine art.

Christine Van Loo is a seven-time consecutive National Champion, Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, and Athlete of the Decade in acrobatic gymnastics. She was inducted into the USSA (acro-gymnastics) Hall of Fame and the World Acrobatics Society Gallery of Honor. As a professional aerialist and acrobat, she performed in the 2002 Winter Olympics, at the Grammy Awards (with No Doubt and with Ricky Martin), the American Music Awards (with Aerosmith), the Miss Universe pageant, and Paul McCartney’s European tour. She was a trainer and performer with NBC’s Celebrity Circus and choreographed the aerials for Britney Spears World Tour and the Stars on Ice U.S. tour. Van Loo provides spell-binding performances of aerial silks, rope, lira, and trapeze with Cirque de la Symphonie.

Vitalii Buza began his gymnastic training in the Republic of Moldova and soon competed as an elite gymnast with the Russian national team. At 16, Vitalii joined the Moscow State Circus as a professional acrobat and toured throughout Europe. After a move to the U.S., he starred in productions at Sea World, Universal Studios, and Walt Disney World. He has been featured in numerous T.V. ads and won a role in the Walt Disney movie “Enchanted.” Vitalii also performed at the 2006 Latin Grammy Awards, the 2007 NFL Pro Bowl, the 2010 Academy Awards, and the 2011 Latin Billboard Awards. He has performed for celebrities and at corporate events for major companies. Vitalii excels in multiple cirque acts, such as duo hand-balancing, straps, Cyr wheel, spinning cube, Chinese pole, and the Russian bar.

The amazing strength and balancing act of Acro Duo consists of Vitaliy Prikhodko and Pavel Korshunov. Vitaliy is a native of Ukraine, where he graduated from Kiev State Circus College. He began his career with the National Circus of Ukraine, winning first place at the New Ukrainian Circus Festival. His acrobatic experience includes worldwide tours with Nikulin’s Moscow Circus. Pavel, a native of Voronezh, Russia, is a three-time national champion of Russia, two-time World Champion, and two-time Champion of the World Cup in acrobatic sport. A former veteran of Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai,” Pavel is a multi-talented performer on straps, Russian swing, trampoline, and acrobatics. AcroDuo’s performances with Cirque de la Symphonie create spontaneous eruptions of applause and emotion as they display a stunning display of strength and balance.

Vladimir Tsarkov Jr. comes from a famous circus family rich in the traditions of Russian circus artistry. He was trained by masters in the circus arts and exhibits exceptional talents and skills in his performances. His “mystery guest” juggling act is a fascinating blend of illusion and juggling skills. Vova is a worldwide star, performing in major productions from Las Vegas to Korea. He enchanted audiences at Busch Gardens’ cirque shows. His impressive performing range includes various juggling acts, spinning shapes, mystery guest, and diablos.

Guest conductor Chelsea Tipton, II is a Greensboro native who has won over audiences and critics with his vibrant musicality, versatility, accessibility, and commitment to art education. He served as Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra for seven exceptionally successful seasons and was Associate Conductor of the Savannah Symphony Orchestra for four seasons. He is currently in his 14th season as Music Director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas and his eighth season as Principal Pops Conductor with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

This concert is graciously sponsored by Concert Sponsor Village Tavern, Guest Artist Sponsor HCTec, Pops Conductor Sponsor Truist, and Season Presenting Sponsors Bell, Davis & Pitt.

About the Winston-Salem Symphony

Proud to be one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras, the Winston-Salem Symphony will celebrate its 75th Anniversary across 2022. The Symphony inspires listeners of all ages throughout North Carolina's Piedmont Triad with various concerts, education programs, and community engagement initiatives each year.

This concert and the Winston-Salem Symphony are supported by Season Presenting Sponsors Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A.; 2022 Classics Series Guest Artist Sponsors Salemtowne; 75th Anniversary Gala Diamond Sponsors Chris and Mike Morykwas; 75th Anniversary Season Sponsor Betty Myers Howell; as well as the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.

Subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased online at wssymphony.org or by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145.

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