Above the stage of Jones Hall, a petite brunette is hanging from a sash of blue silk while performing jaw-dropping acrobatic stunts. Below her, the members of the Houston Symphony try to focus on their music as they rehearse for tonight's concert. She's one of the performers in this weekend's Cirque de la Symphonie, which began right here in Houston.
"Other conductors and other music directors from other symphonies would call Michael and say, ‘Okay, give me the lowdown here,'" says acrobat and choreographer Aloysia Gavre. When she was approached with the idea about ten years ago, she knew there was a market for the two art forms to come together. But it served another purpose: "To also help revive symphonic music and to really give classical and pops music a chance with a different generation," Gavre explains.
The show spread like wildfire when the symphony's Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski pioneered it in 2006. "I'm very proud to say that what we gave birth to here in Houston has become a real phenomenon out there among orchestras," Krajewski says.
The group of eight aerialists and acrobats are back in Houston to premiere a new performance to movie soundtracks for Cirque Goes to the Movies at Jones Hall this weekend.