Weekend at a Glance: Cirque du Soleil – Amaluna #99

My first introduction to Cirque du Soleil was in college. I saw Alegria. I enjoyed it so much that I bought the soundtrack. If you’ve ever been to a show, you know that it’s something so fascinating, you’d just have to see it for yourself.

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ATLANTA, GA- OCTOBER 2: The cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna performs during a dress rehearsal for the show. (Photo by Pouya Dianat/Allied Integrated Marketing)

Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honours femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next.

In the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, triggering an epic, emotional story of love between Prospera’s daughter [Miranda] and a brave young suitor [Romeo]. But theirs is a love that will be put to the test. The couple must face numerous demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony.

The word Amaluna means “mother” “moon”; it also represents the mysterious island where the story takes place. When I read about the story, I thought, surely, this is going to be a show with feminist themes. But as Director Diane Paulus says: “Amaluna is less about feminism and more about reconnecting to our world in a different way.”

What I Loved About Amaluna:

1. Representation of Women

  • For the first time at Cirque du Soleil, the cast of a show is 70% women and the band (decked with rock star costumes), 100% women. I haven’t seen anything like that since Beyonce!

2. The Talent

  • I was beyond amazed to see the skill of the acrobats. Their bodies contorted in ways UNIMAGINABLE. And no one ever messed up. I can barely touch my toes in yoga. Geez.

3. The Magic

  • I won’t lie, this show was a little seance-y for me initially. The repetitive themes of astrology, mythology, and magic.

Part of the mystique of the show lied with the set design and the costumes. The set was transformed into magical paradise. From the dramatic lighting to natural elements like water and greenery, I really felt like I was part of an enchanted scene.

Costumes, designed by Meredith Caron, were very bold, detailed and complex.

Her complex multidimensional costumes evoke a world of day and night that is unquestionably contemporary, yet overlaid with the spirit of the Elizabethan period and containing subtle references to the Orient and Scandinavia. “It’s the encounter of humanity, the glorification of the beauty of the human being,” she explains.

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Cali – “Half-lizard, half-human, all jealous, Cali has known Miranda all her life and although she thinks of him only as a pet, he is in love with her. And he’s determined to prevent Romeo from winning her.”

This was by far my favorite part of the show. I have never ever ever in my life seen someone contort their body to this level.

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Miranda – “Romeo watches as Miranda plays in the waterbowl, discovering her own physicality and expressing her sinuous sexuality as she performs a challenging hand-balancing routine before diving and snaking through the water.”

I was soooo happy to see this Black girl playing such an integral role in the performance.

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Peacock Dance – “Romeo wanders into the Enchanted Forest where he witnesses the bewitching dance of the Peacock Goddess in her dazzling white dress – a performance that represents the purity of love. The white dress worn by the artist performing the Peacock Dance comprises a bustier and a skirt. The bustier is made of stretch nylon tulle covered with white beaded lace and Swarovski crystals. The skirt is made of 65 yards of white non-stretch nylon tulle covered with silver lace and Swarovski crystals. The dress has a total of 6,500 Swarovski crystals and 325 silver lace additions.”

ATLANTA, GA- OCTOBER 2: The cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna performs during a dress rehearsal for the show. (Photo by Pouya Dianat/Allied Integrated Marketing)

It’s impossible to leave a Cirque du Soleil performance and not feel a bit more imaginative and childlike.If you’ve never experienced a Cirque du Soleil production, it is definitely something to see. I had a blast!

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