A whimsical blend of sights, sounds and skills has transformed the Eldorado Theatre at the Eldorado Resort Casino into a magical place where the implausible turns into the probable.
Making use of colorful costumes and lights, slow-and fast-moving characters and a comedian that engages the audience, the Eldorado's new show, "Saltoriya," features a cast of international performers displaying their talents. "Saltoriya," the brainchild of producer Misha Matorin and his company DreamCast Entertainment, takes place at 7:30 p.m. nightly, except Mondays, with an added 9:30 p.m. performance on Saturdays.
Matorin refers to "Saltoriya" as a "theatrical circus sensation," not surprising since the Russian-born Matorin was a circus performer for 20 years, including five years with the internationally popular show "Cirque du Soleil."
"Our theatrical circus brings many elements of theatre to the stage," said Matorin, who brought the show "Balagan" in 2006 to the Eldorado. "We have a combination of many different art forms in one show. There's original music and an intricate lighting design. There are surrealistic characters. Not a storyline, but images that will inspire and provoke the audience in a very honest way."
Those images include extreme displays of limbo dancing, hand- and foot-balancing, fire manipulation, unsupported ladder balancing, juggling, hula hoop-spinning, a power-lifting clown, a ball-walker, and motorcyclists riding inside a steel globe at the same time – with one of the rider's wives standing in the middle.
"We don't emphasize the danger," Matorin said when asked about the risks performers take in the show. "These are all professionals doing this for many years. They know the risks they are taking every time they go on stage. But that is the nature of the business."
The inherent risks are nearly undetectable because of the performers' skills, and the colorful lights, costumes and parade of characters occupying the stage at any given time enhance the "Saltoriya" experience.
"That's the beauty of the live show," Matorin said. "They have only one chance to deliver what it takes years to perfect."
Most of the performers in this family-friendly show come from generations of circus performers. One family legacy in "Saltoriya" features father Gagig Seyranyan and his two daughters, Arevik and Tatevik, performing in the show.
During the show, Gagig Seyranyan is blindfolded before limbo-ing his way between knives only inches above and below his body. Anyone who's suffered the agony of knee pain will watch bewildered as Gagig Seyranyan and his limbo partner Anaida Akopyan bend their bodies in ways that would hurt to watch if they weren't so fascinating to see.
Arevik and Tatevik Seyranyan sport many skills, including contortionism. In one act, Tatevik Seyranyan and Amanda Gisela contort themselves into a 22-inch by 24-inch glass box, which was developed by Tatevik's father.
Arevik Seyranyan's specialty is balancing to the degree that she can drink with her feet while balancing on her hands, a feat that has little practical application but could be the ultimate bar trick.
Olena Deshko's hula hoop act is also a sight to behold. Known as the "Ukranian Tornado," Deshko spins multiple hoops around her body as easily as a child might spin a top. It's an amazing sight when Deshko spins so many hoops around her body she appears trapped inside a colorful version of the childhood Slinky toy.
Then there's Aleksandr Rebkovets, a man who'd be handy around the house given his ability to climb a two-legged stepladder with no support needed. To challenge himself, he juggles while balancing on his ladder.
Comedy abounds in the show, even when Oleksandr Kartukov of Russia displays his strongman skills. Kartukov started his career in 1988 with the Moscow State Circus.
Valeriy Demichev of Russia shows neither fear of flame nor blades in his "Extreme Yoga-Fire" routine. It's a performance that impresses cast member and Texan Johnny Obando, who with Ryan Jordan performs in what's often called the Motorcycle Globe of Death.
"That fire guy with the knives, he really blows my mind," said Obando. "And the guy who limbos across the knives, that's crazy."
Obando's segment is just as impressive. In the Globe of Death, multiple cyclists ride bikes simultaneously in a steel globe, an act that definitely has an element of danger. With Obando's wife, Kateryna Bezrodnia, standing in the middle of the globe near the act's end, Obando and Jordan greatly concentrate while accelerating to 35 miles per hour. It's definitely risky: Obando said he broke his hand in May in a globe accident when his friend's motorcycle broke down.
Longtime Reno residents might remember Obando and Jordan's fathers, Jairo and Jody, who used to perform in the motorcycle globe at Circus Circus in the 1990s. Such is the entertainment world where Matorin finds talent to fill a show such as this, and he said he's been fortunate to know where to look.
"We search the world to bring the best talent available," he said. "We all take great pride in what we do. We're professionals, and we want to give the audience the most fun we can."
Anaida Akopyan: Limbo
Gagig Seyranyan: Limbo/Dad
Tatevik Seyranyan: Cube contortionist
Arevik Seyranyan: Hand-balancer
Johnny Obando: Globe of Death motorcyclist
Ryan Jordan: Globe of Death motorcyclist
Kateryna Bezrodnia: Stands in Globe of Death; wife of Obando
Valeriy Demichev: Fire manipulator/extreme yoga
Salvador Salangsan: Comedian
Oleksandr Kartukov: Clown/comedian/powerlifter
Luis Silos: Little D character/dancer
Olena Deshko: Hula Hoop performer
Amanda Gisela: Contortionist
Aleksandr Rebkovets: Free-standing step-ladder juggler