Cirque Italia makes their splashtastic return to Mankato

Big white tents were set up in the River Hills Mall parking lot last Friday, marking the splashtastic return of Cirque Italia’s water circus show. Created in 2012, the show has traveled from city to city across the country entertaining the masses.

Friday’s show theme was pirates. Inside the tents sat a massive beached pirate ship, with performers donned in their best swashbuckling attire, selling snow cones, candy apples and light-up toys before the show began.

The show was filled to the brim with daring, gravity-defying stunts. One man shot balloons backward with a crossbow, blindfolded, as they hung over their fellow performer’s head. 

Another performer soared through the air in a trapeze performance, suspended only by their wrist. Donned in a mermaid suit, the performer swam through the air like a fish in the water as water streams shot out of the stage.

The mermaid, Morgaine Rosenthal, has been in the Cirque Italia shows for eight years. She originally began as an aerialist but has grown her role as the show has grown its success.

“My position and role with the company has grown and now I am the manager and director of the show, in addition to being an aerialist,” Rosenthal said.

Another member of the team is Manuel Rebecchi. The founder of the show, Rebecchi is the nephew of Moira Orfei, the world-renowned queen of the Italian circus. Rebecchi’s family has performed in the circus for generations, but Rebecchi decided he wanted to bring the show to the United States.

Emigrating to the States with limited funds and a dream, Rebecchi worked hard to create the Cirque Italia show. Due to his relentless work ethic and broad vision, Cirque Italia has now become the premiere traveling circus in the United States.

“We are bringing high level, unforgettable entertainment to your hometown,” said Leah Hryniewicki, the show’s public relations specialist. “It’s our hope that every audience member can attend the show and experience the magic that is Cirque Italia.

According to the show’s performers, what keeps them coming back to the stage each night is the sheer love and passion, as well as seeing the audience’s reception.

“What keeps me performing night after night is being able to share my love and passion for my art with the American public. Seeing the reaction from the crowd and the joy… is the most rewarding part of being an artist,” Rosenthal said. “The combination of artistry, athleticism, fearlessness, and fun under our big top is unlike anything you have ever seen.”

Header Photo: The performers dazzled the audience with their gravity-defying stunts and death-defying tricks. (Joey Erickson/The Reporter)

Write to Joey Erickson at joseph.erickson.2@mnsu.edu

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