‘Luzia’ Is Cirque du Soleil’s Tribute to an Imaginary Mexico
You just jumped out of a plane and are skydiving with a parachute of questionable quality. After some frantic struggles with your gear, you manage to make a safe landing in a field of orange marigolds. Not quite sure where you are, you turn a magical key and suddenly find yourself being chased by a woman who spreads her wings after she is transformed into a huge monarch butterfly. Is it a dream or reality?
In this case, it’s the opening act of Cirque du Soleil’s performance of Luzia unveiled under the big top. This traveling show is the 38th production by the famous Montreal-based entertainment company, and they have brought its unique sights and sounds to Denver, Colorado.
Using its trademark combinations of light, color, talented performers, and original music, Cirque du Soleil takes you on a magical dream journey, a collage of sorts, to an imaginary Mexico.
Constructing a platform that would meet the needs of this show was a challenge. The circular rotating stage also contains a colossal treadmill. This creates the sensation of continual movement by the performers while they do various acrobatic feats such as jumping backward, forward, and while bent in half through 30-inch hoops.
The set designers have created some eye-popping visuals such as a huge circular medallion in the background that radiates vibrant colors and images like the setting sun. During the Cyr wheel and trapeze scene, two women are flying around the stage among agave plants while using large hoops. This dreamlike, surreal visual culminates with an overhead trapeze artist performing acrobatic feats — in the rain!
Speaking of rain (another technical issue that the creators had to figure out), sheets of backlit water fall on the stage with designs like horses, leaves, and trees visible in the water.
In a nod to Mexican cinema from the 1920s, an enthusiastic film director choreographs a scene that includes waves, a buoy, and a rather buff lifeguard. Using a series of poles, the lifeguard builds an ever-taller structure that he then balances himself upon, sometimes with one hand, sometimes in an iron cross position. At the apex of about 20 feet from the floor, he performs aerial feats of strength that leave the audience cheering.
The beach clown scene features a man, always thirsty for water, stopping at the beach to play with a beach ball. He engages the audience using nothing more than a whistle as his means of communication, and the results are hilarious.
The Denver performance is the 17th show that Cirque du Soleil has performed under the big top. With 1,300 artistic performers from nearly 50 countries, the troupe has entertained more than 160 million spectators worldwide throughout its history. Luzia, part dream and part reality, will both enchant and enliven your soul with the images Cirque du Soleil has created from the Mexico of bygone days.