CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Orchestral performances don't take flight like "Cirque de la Symphonie," the West Virginia Symphony's pops concert at the Clay Center, did Friday evening.
Usually, it is a soaring violin solo that draws that observation from a critic.
Concertmaster Amelia Chan did have one of those -- a beautifully nuanced playing of the stratospheric ending of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade."
The real flight, though, was in the dazzling aerial performances of Christine Van Loo and Alexander Streltsov. Van Loo began with lithe, powerful work on a large ring hanging from a cable, floating and spinning above the stage to the "Bacchanale" from Saint-Saens' "Samson and Delilah."
The orchestra, led with zest by guest conductor Stuart Chafetz, played sympathetically, woodwinds spinning lines to embrace Van Loo while timpani and horns blazed through the final throbbing dance.
She and Streltsov showed grace, athleticism and artistry in the waltz from "Swan Lake," by Tchaikovsky. They each entwined arms and legs in a piece of red fabric that hung from that same cable.
The cable was raised and lowered as needed, but the performers could spin up and down the fabric, as well, to do their routine.