Family fun this holiday season just got a whole lot better! Do not miss the latest Cirque extravaganza, coming to Philadelphia for a limited time just after Christmas. Between December 26th and December 29th, you’ll have eight chances to gather your friends and family for a trip to the Merriam Theater. Prepare to be wowed by holiday magic in a way that only a Cirque production can present it. From Christmas tunes to your favorite holiday characters (Santa, gingerbread men, reindeer, dancing penguins) to incredible costumes and acrobatics, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is the perfect way to make a new memory with your loved ones.
RowHome Magazine was lucky to have a quick chat with Quick Change act Mariachiara Scarabelli (from Italy) and Sergiy Chmara (from Ukraine). The married duo has been part of the Cirque team for a few years now, delivering a rapid costume change performance that you need to see to believe! With the ability to change into over 30 costumes in one minute, you’ll be talking about these costume illusionists for years to come!
Q: Where did the two of you meet? And how long have you been performing together?
A: We met back in 2008 in Italy, we both were working as dancers. We worked together as Quick Change artists for four years now.
Q: Tell us about your background in performing and how did you end up becoming known as Costume Illusionists?
A: I [Sergiy] was a professional break dance and studied in Ukraine. Mariachiara finished dance academy in Milan. After a long time that we were working together as dancers, we came up with an idea to have a specialty act for us. We decided to do a Quick Change act and put some of our dancing skills into it. We created our first Quick Change act in 2015 in Dubai.
Q: How did you become involved in Cirque Dreams Holidaze and how long have you been a part of the tour?
A: Three years ago we were offered to join the Cirque Dreams Holidaze tour. We were very excited because it was our first time in the USA, and the tour gave us a great opportunity to travel around the country, be part of an amazing company and show. This is our third tour with Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
Q: What parts of Cirque Dreams Holidaze do you enjoy watching the most?
A: We really enjoy playing our characters in the show- I [Sergiy] play “TIME” and Mariachiara is “MRS.BAKER”. Each act has its own energy and charm combined with great music, so it is very fun to be part of this show and a huge honor to share the stage with so many professional and talented people.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of what you do in this show?
A: It is a long show and we think the most challenging thing is to keep our energy high, even if we are doing a smaller part in the background of someone else’s act. All efforts together make everything magical!
Q: You change into 30 costumes in less than a minute! What type of preparation goes into a feat like this?
A: Oh… a lot of practice and costume research which takes us a long time to become really fast in the act. One more thing – you need to have ‘iron nerves’.
Q: Do you have any favorite memories together while on this tour that you’d like to share with our readers?
A: First thing that we can mention is the American audience is super great! We receive a great response from the audiences at every show and that gives us more energy to give back. Another thing that we feel particularly happy about is performing in such beautiful theaters around the country in a show that brings so much joy to many. It is such an honor!
Q: Cirque Dreams Holidaze is almost done for the holiday season, what projects are you looking forward to next?
A: We have some new plans to make a new version of our act with all new costumes, and maybe participate in some talent TV shows. After Cirque Dreams Holidaze, we go back to our home in Italy and prepare for the future with hopefully more appearances in Cirque Dreams shows.
Q: What are some of your family holiday traditions?
A: Usually, we spend the holidays with our parents and families. Presents, dinners and good Italian wine. We want to bring a part of our culture to America and our Cirque Dreams family, and want to wish a Happy Holidays to all!