Inside Life: US acrobat seasons international holiday cirque du soleil

Samuel Moore in a scene from Simplify Your Life.
By Kyle Flubacker, courtesy of MSG Entertainment

For more than two and a half decades, Madison Square Garden has taken second billing to Radio City Music Hall during the Christmas holiday season.

Despite presentations of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol,” and yuletide productions with TV “Idol” stars Clay Aitken and Ruben Stoddard stepping into the arena to deliver holiday cheer, through the years the Rockettes have maintained their reputation as the most alluring attraction for tourists and residents alike.

However, now that a real life Scrooge scenario forced the devastating cancellation of the season’s annual RCMH Christmas Spectacular, the Hulu Theater at MSG’s offering of ‘Twas The Night Before” has emerged the best option to families seeking festive reprieve during Christmas present.

Presented two and three times daily, the Cirque Du Soleil feature offers a hefty treat to legions of families disappointed by the surge of COVID-19 infections which halted the full run at Radio City.

Adapted from a 19th century poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ — or sometimes referred to as ‘A visit from St. Nicholas’ and “The Night Before Christmas” — this stylized interpretation features an international cast who ensure 90 minutes of awesome, non-stop entertainment.

In this energized showcase, a teenager named Isabella appears disenchanted and a bit disconnected from Christmas fervor.  Her detached demeanor underscores visions of fun, excitement, cheer or any indication of the advent of the season.

But with the help of elves, aerialists, a clown, Santa Claus and many of the incredibly unexpected talent from Cirque enchantments, in the end, the zeal Isabella longed for is restored.

Featuring a predominant international cast: Alicia Beaudoin (Isabella, Canada); Roberto Alvarez Serrano (Spain), Lucas Gabriel Morales Bravo (Argentina), Sekou Camara (Guinea), Jean-Marc Giese (France), Quentin Greco (France) and Evan Tomlinson Weintraub (United States); Miguel Gigosos Ronda (Spain) performing as Jolly Santa and clown; and Jenna Beltran, Carlo Darang, Shannon Kelly, Samuel Moore and Bianca Vallar (United States) along with Kalila Hermant (Belgium) comprise the stellar performers.

Moore is among the handful representing the United States.

Samuel Moore.Courtesy of MSG Entertainment

Along with an ensemble team to perform high-flying, whirling acrobatics he appears disappears and re-appears exhibiting flexibility, athleticism and effortless skill that awakens audiences to the legitimacy of hip=hop dancing.

Born and raised in Oceanside, California, at age 25 Moore is returning for a second seasons after debuting in the Chicago 2019 premiere.

“Just to see audiences again,” explained the excitement he felt following opening night this year.

Returning to deliver dance steps he has refined since first somersaulting across a mat at about 8 years of age, Moore described the audience as “amazing.”

“I felt the energy, it was fun time.”

Of his arrival to the Big Apple, Moore said his family is integral to the journey. Two brothers and as many sisters factored but it was his older sister Jarrica Cooper who introduced him to the hobby which evolved to a passion.

That his big sister could sing and dance simultaneously endeared him to follow the path she led.

Moore said by the time he entered second grade he was mesmerized. Street dancing became an obsession, he was hooked — so much so, his mother, Estralita questioned his life goals.

Concerned about his future, one day she confronted him asking “are you sure, are you really sure?’

Given his strong conviction, passion and affinity to untraditional dancing, he said his definitive response was rewarded with assurances of support.

Trained in hip hop styles — krump, breakdancing, and a little bit of popping – Moore expanded his repertoire to include cheerleading and gymnastics. Moore was driven by passion, success, and support he attributes to big sister and Estralita.

His journey has been storied.

He has worked with Billie Eilish, Paula Abdul, and tennis legend Serena Williams whom he collaborated with for a Beats by Dre commercial. Moore’s ever-extending career also landed him an Off-Broadway show called “Beyond Babel.”

When the audition call came for Cirque Du Soleil, Moore said he was elated.

As one of the chosen few from the USA, an original member of the 2019 cast and recalled after the 2020 Covid-19 lockdowns, Moore is now front and center at NYC’s biggest holiday attraction.

Along with fellows of the Kinjaz Dance Crew he mixes theater, music, dance and acrobatics to deliver the magic of Christmas through the delightful pageantry of a circus.

Of his pursuit of an enviable dance career he said: “Do what you love, do it for you, because you love it.”

Final performance is slated for Dec. 27.

Have a wonderful, magical, adventurous and safe Christmas.

Catch You On The Inside!

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