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Cirque du Soleil flips, jumps into Duluth

Cirque du Soleil's Zabato Bebe (second from left) shows skaters from Duluth Figure Skating Club how to flow using different body movements at Mars Arena at Marshall High School Thursday evening. Tyler Schank / 1 / 4
Cirque du Soleil Julien Duliere does a trick on the ice in front of skaters from Duluth Figure Skating Club at Mars Arena at Marshall High School Thursday. Tyler Schank / 2 / 4
Cirque du Soleil's Zabato Bebe (center) is surrounded by skaters from Duluth Figure Skating Club at Mars Arena at Marshall High School Thursday evening. Tyler Schank / 3 / 4
Cirque du Soleil performer Zabato Bebe helps Gus Schauer, 13, do a trick Mars Arena at Marshall High School Thursday evening. Forty-two skaters from Duluth Figure Skating Club gathered to learn from two performers. Tyler Schank / 4 / 4

Back flips and break dancing. Two things that don't normally occur on the ice at Mars Lakeview Arena, but that is exactly what was happening Thursday night.

Two performers from Cirque du Soleil Crystal visited with the Duluth Figure Skating Club to teach the skaters a few tricks. Some skaters worked with Zabato Bebe, of Austria, as he taught them some unique jumps and spins. The others worked with Julien Duliere, of France, as he taught them a fast one-legged spin and a spin that was low to the ice with one hand down.

"We're here to give a glimpse and inspire something new into the kids' skating," said publicist Julie Desmarais.

Both BeBe and Duliere will be performing in "Cirque du Soleil Crystal" this weekend at Amsoil Arena. The show is about a girl named Crystal who goes on a journey where she is looking for a purpose.

"She is a little bit different and she doesn't feel like she fits in at home or at school," Desmarais said. "She ends up venturing on her ice pond and the ice breaks, and from there she enters into a world under the water where she meets different characters who guide her through this journey in finding herself."

Cirque du Soleil Crystal is the first show the modern circus has performed on ice. It debuted in 2017. The show has been traveling all over North America for the past year and a half and will move on to a worldwide stage later this year, Desmarais said.

People who attend a show this weekend will be treated to a "spectacle" and "very unique experience," Desmarais said.

"It is a chance to escape from the routine and discover something different and something fun with a lot of wow moments," she said. "We have a group of 43 cast members that just do incredible things on set."

If you go

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 12:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Where: Amsoil Arena

Tickets: Available online at

Cost: $49 or more per ticket. Cost varies by seat.

Adelle Whitefoot

Adelle Whitefoot is a Michigan native who moved to Minnesota in Sept. 2014 when she started as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich., in 2012 with a bachelor's in English writing and has been a professional photographer since 2011. Whitefoot is the night general assignments reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

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