Must-See Weekend Event: Cirque Du Soleil’s Amaluna

on December 7, 2012

While the “C” in Cirque du Soleil can be assumed to mean ‘cultured’ as in the degree of theatre exposure needed to fully absorb and appreciate the acrobatic and aerial showcase, that isn’t always the case. Cirque’s latest touring production, Amaluna can be enjoyed by any and all.

It doesn’t matter if you are a circus loving grown-up, a guy trying to set-up the best first date ever or a family who wants to keep the kids busy on a Saturday afternoon, Amaluna’s appeal and allure is almost universal.

The traveling show which recently wrapped up its Toronto run and runs from November 23 – December 30 in Vancouver is director Diane Paulus’ take on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest from an inherently female perspective (in fact, the cast is 70 per cent female).

Although the English playwright’s version had Prospero, Amaluna features Prospera, the queen of a mysterious island that is governed by Goddesses and guided by the Moon.

While Prospero conjured up a storm and shipwreck in The Tempest to manifest his desire for revenge, in the Cirque story, Prospera’s storm is designed to find a suitable suitor for her daughter and she does when Romeo (a nod to another Shakespeare character) is stranded on the island.

It’s all about making love instead of making war.

This Weekendtrip features 12 acts of splendor that include:

– Teeterboard: Young men launch themselves high into the air, twisting and turning in a high-speed attempt to not only escape gravity but also their prison. A particular highlight is when one performer lands in a headstand position on another’s upturned palms.

– Uneven Bars: The captured young men from the shipwreck help the Amazons of the island present a classic gymnastics routine.

– Unicycle: Two artists enter on unicycles weaving in and out of each other’s paths as they pirouette and thrill the pageant participants.

– Chinese Pole: Romeo tries to reunite with Miranda by climbing up a pole in a sheer exhibition of muscular strength and precision.

– Cerceau and Waterbowl: One of the Cirque signatures in recent years has been the spectacular use of water and this is no different in Amaluna. After the Moon Goddess appears to Miranda, she plays in the waterbowl in an incredible display of athleticism, fierce physicality, and sinuous sexuality. This is also the moment when Romeo and Miranda share their first kiss. Translation: guys will love the hot girl in the waterbowl, girls will love the romantic ‘aww’ moment and kids might have to cover their eyes for this particular scene.

The most memorable act of the show is one where no audience member dares to make a sound for fear of interrupting the concentration necessary to pull it off.

Lara Jacob Rigolo’s bone-balancing showcase in the second acts as she methodically builds a tree-like structure lifting each ‘branch’ into place with her foot. It is worth the price of admission alone and while the audience is silent during it, it’s anything but after it is over as a thunderous standing ovation is certainly demanded.

Really though, the fact is that while much is being made about this show being one of the rare Cirque plays with a plotline, even it doesn’t need one. They are about a celebration of the senses. A collaboration of color, crescendo and creative which is truly what the C In Cirque du Soleil stands for.

Where to buy Cirque Du Soleil Tickets

Amaluna recently wrapped up its limited-engagement run in Toronto and runs in Vancouver from November 23 – December 30 before making stops in Calgary (April 13) and Edmonton (May 30). Tickets can be purchased at CirqueDuSoleil.com


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