The nighttime glow of South Florida will be brighter this weekend as the latest production from Neil Goldberg, Cirque Dreams Illumination arrives at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood for a five-day run.
While this production has been touring the country, the stop at Hollywood’s Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Resort will be more like a homecoming for the company, which is based in Pompano Beach.
Openly gay dancer Antoine Banks-Sullivan is one of the 29 acrobatic and artistic performers from 11 countries who will bring the imaginative new show to South Florida audiences.
“Cirque Dreams Illumination is an amazing show, like nothing you’ve ever seen,” Banks-Sullivan explains. “It’s hip-hop, raw, edgy, new.”
Banks-Sullivan, an openly gay Chicago native who recently joined the company had been in Dubai on the world tour of High School Musical: Summer Celebration when he was asked to join Cirque.
“I’ve never been in anything like this before and it’s just absolutely crazy to see all the talent in the show,” he says.
While Goldberg’s productions have often been compared to Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil, his shows aim to be more accessible, using familiar locations and characters and music that is sung in English.
Illuminations introduces audiences to “city dwellers who reinvent familiar objects, balance on wires, leap tall buildings and redefine the risks of flight….(the artists) populate the streets of this magical metropolis and breath energy into its landscape with urban acrobatics.”
According to Banks-Sullivan, he plays a U.S. Marine who must compete with other characters for the affections of a female dancer. The two characters and this storyline serve as the “connective tissue” between the many astounding acrobatic acts.
In addition to Banks-Sullivan and the other talented cast members, the production also features the dance moves of Robert Muraine, who gained international fame with his unique “popping” style in 2008 on the television dance competition, So You Think You Can Dance.
Despite the recent cold spell in South Florida, Banks-Sullivan says his colleagues are prepared to heat things up.
“I don’t think any production is necessarily going to be a perfect fit for any dancer, but it’s the challenges that lead to rewards with this show. Audiences have to expect the best that Neil Goldberg has to offer (with Illumination). It’s like no other show they’ll ever see. It’s extraordinary and one of a kind,” he promises.
Cirque Dreams Illumination
DATE: Wed. March 10–Sun., March 14
LOCATION: Hard Rock Live
Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Resort,Hollywood
Tickets $40-75 at Ticketmaster.com and Hard Rock Box Office