TYSONS - “LUZIA,” Cirque Du Soleil’s thoroughly entertaining exploration of Mexico is at Tyson’s Galleria through June 17 and will delight all age groups who decide to attend.
Through set design, costumes, acrobatic performances and music, “LUZIA” explores various themes linked to the culture, history and mythology of traditional and modern Mexico. A rain demigod who emerges from an onstage pool interacts with a life-size jaguar; a nod to the very popular Mexican sport of professional wrestling called lucha libre (or ‘free fight’); a tribute to Mexico cinema of the 1920s; and a tribute to the art of Mexico’s popular speed juggling.
Colorful and surreal, the show kicks off with a parachutist free falling into a fantasy land where it is not unusual to come across a woman with a hummingbird’s head and wings, a crocodile playing the marimba, or a man with the head of an armadillo, swordfish or iguana. This connection to animal life stems from the Mesoamerican concept of the nagual, in which the spirit of an animal lives in every human being.
“LUZIA” spectacularly uses water as a source of inspiration, the first for a Cirque du Soleil touring production, and the element is used in several scenes. In one scene, two young women ‘dance’ on stage in large majestic hoops, as in a dream. Rolling among the agave plants, dresses floating upwards, they daintily spin and turn and are joined by a trapeze artist who sometimes hangs only by one heel. The scene ends with the women soaked in a rainy deluge.
The water element is used effectively again during a hoop diving scene where two treadmills are used as launching pads for the divers to perform daring leaps through the hoops. When the hoops are placed on the rolling treadmills, they suddenly become moving targets, with the treadmills operating in the same direction or in opposite directions.
In an aerial straps scene, the artist emerges from the waters of a cenote, recalling the naturally occurring sinkholes the Mayan believed were gateways to the afterlife. Rotating on straps in a circle just above the water, the artist encounters a puppet resembling a life-size jaguar, a mythical figure of Mexican culture.
Technically, the rain curtain, in itself, is a production wonder, as the water must be filtered, disinfected and maintained at a constant 82 degrees Fahrenheit for the wellbeing of the artists. A bridge suspended 46 feet above the stage supports the 1,585-gallon water reserve, and 174 nozzles create two-dimensional images using water droplets and blank spaces. The stage floor has 94,657 holes through which the water drains into a 3,500-litre basis hidden underneath.
For Cirque fans, this 38th production will not disappoint with its stunning acts, dynamic costumes, and set design. If going, be thrilled to know that there is not one bad seat in the house—another objective of the creative team.