Mythology, culture in Cirque du Soleil

“LUZIA: A Waking Dream of Mexico”

Acrobats, dancers, a live band, and contortionists. These are only a few things that make LUZIA so special.

Cirque du Soleil’s newest addition comes from the combination of “luz,” the Spanish word for light, and “lluvia,” meaning rain.

Based out of Canada, Cirque du Soleil is the largest theatrical production company in the world.

Known for their mind-blowing productions, Cirque has become a household name.

Luzia opened their run on Thursday, March 30 in Redmond’s Marymoor Park under a circus tent dubbed the “big top.”

“LUZIA: A Waking Dream of Mexico” incorporates the mythology, traditions and culture of Mexico by celebrating them though the music, dance and themes of the acts.

The cast and crew of 115 travel all together for their tour, staying in each city for around two months at a time.

When audience members walked into the big top an hour before the show started, it seemed as if they had accidentally walked into a VIP area. Waiters effortlessly glided through the crowd with food on trays and performers were dancing in the middle of the room along with a live mariachi band.

Local artist Ryan Henry Ward was painting a mural among the dancers and musicians, and an audience drew to watch him work. The lighting was dim, but the conversations were lively.

Anya Annear | The Falcon
Costumes and props incorporated rich hues of magenta.

The popcorn, drinks and food on trays were all free — it was all a part of the show. Cirque du Soleil knows exactly how to treat their guests.

Guests were treated like royalty as they grabbed a skewer of guava juice-infused shrimp out of a pineapple that waiters held before them.

Seats surrounded a circular stage adorned with vibrant floral arrangements and a few acrobats dressed as birds.

When the show began, the acrobats dressed as colorful birds dove in and out of hoops while simultaneously running on a two-way treadmill.

The costumes and props all had rich hues of magenta, yellow and red. This enhanced the show and made it seem magical.

During the performances, a mariachi-style band played live on stage, led by a singer from Mexico and featuring band members who were also from Spanish-speaking countries.

“LUZIA” tells the story of a clown taking a plane ride over Mexico and how he suddenly parachutes down into the ocean to begin a magical journey.

Other acts include a male contortionist, an aerial strap performance and flying scuba divers.

A major feat of the overall performance is the unique use of water. Water pours onto the stage from a giant rain curtain above. Then the water drains into the reservoir below, thanks to the thousands of tiny holes on the stage.

Many of the acts incorporate the water, typically by acrobats swinging within it. In one act, pictures appear in the water — something only live performance can make believable.

Cirque incorporated a unique kind of technology that prints images out of water, letting the audience see them appear and then fall.

The technology of “LUZIA” was created to make it unlike any other show out there. These designers are the best in the business; their work speaks for itself.

Toward the end of the show an acrobat was injured during a swing-to-swing act. The woman was jumping in the air from one swing to another, and landed flat on her back. The cast almost immediately knew something was wrong.

Stagehands and medics quickly came out to help the woman. It was handled promptly and professionally, and Cirque du Soleil let the audience know later that night via Twitter that the acrobat was in stable condition, and did not end up needing to go to the hospital.

This paused the show for around 15 minutes as they transitioned into the next act. It did not hinder the overall quality of the show, but it did give the audience a reality check.

The accident made the audience realize that everything going on was so real — it seemed like a dream, how seamlessly the performers moved and jumped around the stage.

The show ends in a final fiesta with a group dance.

“LUZIA” is engaging from beginning to end. Not only was there so much to look at during every second of the performance, but guests can also expect to be treated and entertained like royalty.

Tickets start at $35 and the show runs now through May 21 at Redmond’s Marymoor Park.

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