Under the Big Top with Cirque’s Luzia

Under the Big Top with Cirque’s Luzia

Rating 4 out of 4

Cirque du Soleil has been dazzling audiences since its inception in the 80s. Their latest
production, Luzia, a waking dream of Mexico, has the audience gasping and clutching their seat
mates due to the sheer wonderment of the production. I had the privilege of receiving a
backstage tour and interviewed Cirque artist Benjamin Courtenay about his straps technique.
When asked what the audience won’t expect if they’ve seen a Cirque performance before,
Courtenay simply stated: “to have your mind blown.” Another element to separate this
performance if that there is “a lot of life in the production, a genuine feeling on stage and a
beautiful aesthetic not seen before”.
Luzia combines the sound of “luz” (light in Spanish) and “Lluvia” (rain) which are the two
central elements to the production. The audience is taken on an adventure exploring many
imagined facets and influences of Mexico. You get little tableaus that are all diverse yet all
coincide together as one multi-faceted family. The show opens with an Explorer dropping in to
this unknown world and is then guided throughout by a Monarch Butterfly. The Explorer often
times serves the role of clown throughout the production, engaging with the audience and
making a fool of himself.
The production has all the Cirque elements you could possibly desire: acrobats, aerialists, trapeze
artists, contortionists, swings and much more. Each tableau leaves the audience wanting more.
These individuals are artists and athletes and remind us how amazing the human form really is. I
was curious as to how each act comes together. Aerial strap artist Courtenay explained that a lot
of the creation comes from exploration and play. This is the first time he has worked with a
water element which adds an extra layer of difficulty and intricacies to the act. Each artist
portrays a different character, animal or imagination of Mexico. From the demigod of water to
the hiss of the snakes from the pole artists to the Luchador wrestler.
What’s amazing about Cirque are not only the artists but everything that goes into it. There are
44 cast members with 19 different nationalities hailing from 25 different countries. These artists
train every day and perform 360 times each year with each act and artist constantly evolving.
Their only stability is each other. Luzia uses 6,000 liters of water for each performance and have
750 costumes on hand that are extremely surreal. There is a uniqueness of talent with this
production. The special effects and puppetry is amazing. The animals have such life like
qualities that you can’t believe it’s being manned by artists. The 115 spectacular crew members
keep everything running safely and smoothly.
Any Cirque du Soleil performance lives up to its name and reputation. Luzia combines several
new elements that make it distinct from all the others. What’s notable is the sense of community
within the show but also amongst the artists. Many are prevalent in multiple tableaus and you

can feel the connection between them. The performances held under the big top allow for a more
intimate surrounding that you cannot get in their larger stadium gigs. You feel not only
connected to your fellow audience members but to the artists and their personas as well. Luzia
should be seen by all before their run here ends September 3.
Tickets are available online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia. To watch a preview video of
LUZIA, visit www.cirk.me/LUZIA_Preview.
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