The Cirque du Soleil productions continue to evolve changing every few years to keep their shows fresh. Their newest production, LUZIA, premiered in April 2016 and is Cirque du Soleil’s 38th original production since 1984. They were just in Los Angeles over the holidays, and are now performing in Orange County from February 21 – March 18, 2018. LUZIA takes us on a surrealistic journey through Mexico, and for the first time, Cirque brings water to the Big Top with surprise elements. We watched each segment in awe. They did such a wonderful job featuring each artist, they had my family on the edge of their seats. Both children and adults watched in delight. Circuses usually have a clown to keep it fun and help with transitions. Theirs is silly and comical, he’s also the main character also known as “The Traveler”. This show is great for all ages.
“LUZIA takes you to Mexico where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. Through a series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA invites audiences to escape on a surrealistic journey through a sumptuous and vibrant world suspended somewhere between dreams and reality. Smoothly passing from an old movie set to the ocean to a smoky dance hall or an arid desert, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. Rich in awe-inspiring moments, LUZIA enchants by incorporating rain into acrobatic and artistic scenes – a first for a Cirque du Soleil touring production.”
Segments Depicted – What the Stories Mean
- PROLOGUE – The sound of a plane is fading away as a parachutist is free falling towards a land of memories. He lands in a field of yellow marigolds surrounding a gigantic metallic key. As he turns the key by curiosity, the traveler gets taken away on a magical journey through time and place, somewhere between dreams and reality.
- RUNNING WOMAN – As the morning sun rises, a woman and a metallic horse run together to awake this imaginary Mexico where the journey of the traveler will take place. The running woman spreads her “butterfly wings” in a tribute to the annual migratory journey of the monarch butterfly from southern Canada to central Mexico.
- HOOP DIVING ON TREADMILLS – This tableau combines hoop diving with two giant treadmills in a soaring tribute to agility and speed. Seven acrobats wearing hummingbird costumes, complete with wings and a long beak, jump through hoops a mere 75 centimeters (less than 30 inches) in diameter. The acrobats leap through the hoops sometimes feet first, sometimes backwards, sometimes bent in half. Some even leapfrog over their partners in order to jump through the rings.
- ADAGIO – In a nod to the golden age of Mexican cinema, this hand-to-hand act unfolds in a smoky dance hall reminiscent of Salon Mexico. Three porters proficient in the art of “flinging acrobats in the air” hurl a flyer above their heads where she performs intricate flips. Sometimes the porters hold her by the hands and feet, turning her into a human skipping rope.
- CYR WHEEL AND TRAPEZE – With cacti silhouetted against the setting sun, two young women dance on stage in large majestic hoops as in a dream. Rolling among the quiotes (Agave plants), they are soon joined by a trapeze artist who performs a series of original figures, sometimes hanging only by one heel. The performance culminates in the rain.
- BEACH CLOWN – After riding his bicycle through the mountains in direction of the beach, the traveler stops to drink water out of his canteen…which is unfortunately empty. He finds an abandoned beach ball which allows him to break the fourth wall and engage in a competitive ball match with the audience.
- HAND BALANCING – A lifeguard struts about on a buoy among the waves in a tribute this time to Mexican cinema of the 1920s. He gradually builds two rows of flexible canes on top of his buoy. Under the command of an overzealous film director, the artist performs a series of figures, sometimes balancing on one hand, sometimes doing push-ups, sometimes holding an iron cross position, all the while flaunting his great physical strength. He builds his tottering structure to an impressive 6 meters (close to 20 feet) above the stage.
- FOOTBALL DANCE – This youthful act pays tribute to the modern ritual sport of football, highly celebrated in Mexico. A man and a woman try to outdo each other by deftly manipulating a ball with their feet and head. They make the ball bounce, roll and spin using their knees, feet, soles and the back of their neck. When it starts to rain, time seems to stand still as the artists carry on, impervious to the downpour.
- CLOWN RAIN AND PERCUSSIONS PARADE – The traveler, still thirsty, tries to re-hydrate with the providential rain water. Little did he know that rain would be very difficult to tame in this imaginary Mexico. Two-dimensional images created from water droplets and blank spaces start falling from the sky before a parade of percussionists and singers, reminiscent of the Day of the Dead celebrations, take over the stage.
- AERIAL STRAPS – An artist representing a demigod of rain emerges from the pristine waters of a cenote recalling the naturally occurring sinkholes the Mayan believed were gateways to the afterlife. He performs a graceful aerial straps act, his hair whipping the surface of the water as he rotates on the straps in a circle just above the water. The artist interacts with a puppet resembling a life-size jaguar, an animal that has become a mythological figure of Mexican culture. The artist manages to gain the big cat’s trust in this tableau brimming with lyricism.
- JUGGLING – In a tribute to the art of speed juggling popular in Mexico, an artist manages to juggle seven pins at breakneck speeds. the pins whirl so fast they become a metallic blur just like the propellers of an airplane. the juggler engages in a dialogue with the marimba, a musical instrument typical of the Veracruz region in Eastern mexico.
- CONTORTION – An artist enveloped in a mystical aura amid glowing candles puts his body in knots with astounding ease and flexibility. He twists his body in unimaginable positions, and even manages to touch the back of his head with his pelvis!
- CLOWN SCUBA DIVING – The traveler takes a dive to explore the underwater world, which first looks peaceful until he disturbs three cacti relaxing on the ocean floor.
- SWING TO SWING – Under a luminous red moon, nine artists perform a stunning Russian swing act. For the first time at Cirque du Soleil, the two swings are mounted on a turntable so that the audience can enjoy the performance from all angles. The pushers demonstrate impeccable timing by flinging their partners up to 10 meters (33 feet) in the air.
- FIESTA FINALE – All the characters the traveler has met through his journey gather together for a festive celebration around a large dining table. They each wear a different costume incorporating the traditional Otomi embroidery patterns, giving a sense of unity and community to this final scene.
- A total 115 people from 25 countries are part of the touring cast and crew of LUZIA. The 44 artists alone come from 19 different nationalities: Belarus, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Guinea, Italy, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Spain, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia and Venezuela.
- The Big Top seats more than 2,600 people. The entire site set-up takes 8 days. This includes installation of the Big Top, the entrance tent, the VIP tent and the rehearsal spaces. The Big Top stands at 19 meters (62 feet) high and is 51 meters (167 feet) in diameter. The 4 steel masts stand at 25 meters (82 feet) tall each. 550 pegs are required to hold the big top firmly to 48,500 square feet of asphalt. The Big Top can withstand winds up to 120 km/h (75 mph).
- The light-coloured canvas helps counter the effects of the sun, thereby reducing energy consumption
and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
- LUZIA travels via 65 trailer trucks carrying close to 2,000 tons of equipment
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. We attended as media guests.
Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA
February 21 – March 18, 2018
88 Fair Drive – Lot G
Costa Mesa, California
More about Cirque du Soleil:
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to close to 155 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents. The mission of Cirque du Soleil is to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world. It all started in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town near Québec City in Canada. There, in the early eighties, a band of colourful characters roamed the streets, striding on stilts, juggling, dancing, breathing fire, and playing music. They were Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (the Baie-Saint-Paul Stiltwalkers), a street theatre group founded by Gilles Ste-Croix. Already, the townsfolk were impressed and intrigued by the young performers – including Guy Laliberté who founded Cirque du Soleil. The troupe went on to found Le Club des talons hauts (the High Heels Club), and then, in 1982, organized La Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul, a cultural event in which street performers from all over met to exchange ideas and enliven the streets of the town for a few days. La Fête foraine was repeated in 1983 and 1984. Le Club des talons hauts attracted notice, and Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix and their cronies began to cherish a crazy dream: to create a Québec circus and take the troupe travelling around the world. In 1984, Québec City was celebrating the 450th anniversary of Canada’s discovery by Jacques Cartier, and they needed a show that would carry the festivities out across the province. Guy Laliberté presented a proposal for a show called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun), and succeeded in convincing the organizers. And Cirque du Soleil hasn’t stopped since.