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Welcome to the Jungle

The other Cirque troupe brings its high-wire act to town.


Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy features just as many acrobats, strongmen, and balancing acts as Cirque du Soleil. But performer Marco Balestracci has to go out of his way to explain to people that his troupe has nothing at all to do with the more famous ensemble. “They say, ‘You guys are amazing. I’ve seen you in Vegas,’” he says. “And we’re like, Sorry, we’re not affiliated with them. Same genre but different style. They’re more arena. We’re more musical theater.”

The 90-minute production, which comes to Akron this weekend, is set in a lush, tropical forest, where vine-swinging trapeze artists and back-bending contortionists fill the stage. The 22-year-old Balestracci -- who plays a jungle boy -- leads an 11-man jump-rope team through a choreographed series of intricate moves. “This show has more energy, style, colors, and acrobats than you’ll ever see in Vegas,” he says. “There’s so much talent on one stage and so much going on that people don’t know when to clap. Their jaws just drop.”
Fri., March 9, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 10, 2 & 8 p.m.

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