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Cirque Dreams: Illumination

Date: 2/19/2010

BY: Leah Della Croce, Alvernia freshman

A group of Alvernia students and staff members attended a showing of the critically acclaimed Cirque Dreams: Illumination on Wednesday, February 17. Performed regularly at the American Music Theater in Lancaster, the show is a dazzling representation of city life, featuring a stunningly realistic set that portrays a heavily-graffitied inner city train station.

The cast includes a troupe of incredible athletes, dancers, and acrobats, whose lithe bodies effortlessly perform feats the average person could never even imagine, creating a colorful world where construction workers and policemen can defy gravity with jaw-dropping aerodynamic maneuvers.

The show celebrates diversity, representing various cultures through music and dance. Cirque Dreams features a variety of dance styles, from classical ballet and Irish step dancing to hip hop and break dancing. The music satisfies any audience, running the gamut from jazz, rock, sultry rhythm and blues numbers, metal, techno, and Broadway numbers. Along with the superb music, the cast also included a first-rate female saxophone player and an outstanding female vocalist.

The dazzling spectacle of Cirque Dreams certainly deserves the unanimous rave reviews it has received. Alvernia students and staff greatly enjoyed the opportunity to attend such a special event; it certainly was—illuminating. Tickets were free to the Alvernia community, courtesy of the university’s Student Government Association, and transportation was provided by campus public safety.

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.