Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions: A Rockin’ Good Time!
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Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions: A Rockin’ Good Time!
By Chris Korotky, Publisher
High-flying acrobatics, engaging acts and a mesmerizing atmosphere created with state-of-the-art lighting and a diverse playlist are hallmarks of the new Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Debuting this week in California before making a 40-city cross-country trek, the show is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Earlier this week, as the final touches were being on the show before its launch in San Jose on Saturday, Inside Gymnastics magazine got a behind-the-scenes look at how the tour comes together and a preview of the show during one of the final run-throughs in Ontario, Calif., where the cast has been gathered for rehearsals. In 15-hour training days, the cast, crew and directors have developed a show that is one for all ages. In a series of articles that will appear here on our website during the course of the Tour, we’ll be showcasing how the show came together with insight from some of the performers as well as the creative minds driving the direction and choreography. For this Tour, 1996 Olympian John Macready, rhythmic gymnast Mary Sanders and 2008 All-Around Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin comprise the creative team and all appear in the show as well.
Today’s series segment features a look at the cast and a review of the show (without giving away too much!).
Gymnastics Superstar Central
Featuring the biggest names in the sport of gymnastics today, the Tour is headlined by the “Fierce Five” who won over the hearts of America with their inspiring performance at the 2012 Olympic Games, capturing Team Gold for the first time since the Magnificent Seven conquered in 1996. All-around Champion Gabrielle Douglas and teammates Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Kyla Ross perform in some spectacular group numbers that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. The show is not only a celebration of that dynamic group, but also a celebration of the sport itself, and features a diverse cast of gymnastics stars, including 2008 Olympic teammates Liukin, Chellsie Memmel and Alicia Sacramone. 2012 Olympic alternates Anna Li, Sarah Finnegan and Elizabeth Price will also be performing in some cities. Other stars among the cast are Rebecca Bross, Sabrina Vega, Kennedy Baker and Brenna Dowell. (Some cast members will rotate in and out while others will be part of the entire 40-city run).
On the men’s side, two-time Olympic medalist Jonathan Horton leads the cast with fellow 2012 teammates Jake Dalton, John Orozco, Chris Brooks, Steve Legendre and Alex Naddour. Past World Championship team members and other standouts from the U.S. National Team are also among the cast and include Brandon Wynn, Paul Ruggeri, Alex Buscaglia, Josh Dixon, Glen Ishino and David Sender.
In addition to the artistic gymnastics superstars, the show features performers who showcase rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and sports acro, as well as Parkour which adds a really cool element to the show and is sure to enthrall audiences with the breathtaking tricks. Rounding out the crew is a group of hip hop dancers and breakers who add a new dimension to the show and another element of entertainment.
Five Out of Five Stars
Exhilarating, engaging and emotional, the 2012 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions is sure to deliver a night of lifelong memories for hundreds of thousands of fans coast-to-coast who will see their gymnastics heroes perform like never before. Combining high-energy, feel-good, rock-out moments with reflective, moving tributes, the show is able to strike just the perfect balance of emotion and energy to produce a night that fans won’t forget.
The show featured on this Tour has a very different feel, tone, set up and flow compared to the Tour that followed the 2008 Olympic Games. It’s much more exciting, much more engaging, much more entertaining and well, quite frankly, much cooler in overall presentation. Every element has been taken to a new level, not only figuratively, but literally as well (wait until you see the rings numbers – we won’t give it away, but talk about a new level!).
Divided into two segments, with a 20-minute intermission, the show is paced perfectly and will have fans on their feet, cheering along and celebrating with the performers. The group numbers are the highlight – and there are lots of them – with so much going on from end to end of the arena that you could see the show twice and see something completely new the second time around.
The rhythm of the show provides perfect ebb and flow with 1996 Olympian John Macready striking the right chords in his role as ringmaster (on and off the floor, providing double duty as one of the driving creative directors and host of the show). With a unifying theme that drives the direction, fans will follow along on a story of imagination. “The theme is basically ‘Every journey begins with a dream,’ Macready told us during our day at rehearsals. “It’s kind of the evolution of a kid having a dream of becoming an Olympian to actually standing on the awards stand and being an Olympian.”
This show feels much more organic and seamless than some Tours of the past with a different tone that provides for more of an arc, something that Macready says was a goal from the start. “It’s definitely not like – ‘Rah! Rah! Rah!’ and play the top pop music that’s out and do routines to it,” he says. “We’ve really tried to think of music that’s different, and that goes with the theme and story of that routine, and really intertwine those routines into the thought of the show.”
The costumes this time around are more fun, themed and edgy. And the lighting package used in the show is by far the best we’ve ever seen in a gymnastics exhibition. “I think spending a lot of time on costumes was key because that was really important [to accentuate the performances],” Liukin says. “You can have a great number with great choreography but the costumes…make it all come to life. And then with the lighting - the amount of technology that has progressed in four years - It’s like a light show!”
Most importantly, the cast is full of energy and enthusiasm, delivering stellar performances that showcase their incredible talent as well as their effusive personalities.
This one has it all – an amazing cast, terrific choreography, star-quality performances, and incredible production value that will deliver memorable moments that will have fans on their feet and talking about the experience for years to come. Two huge thumbs up!
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