Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review of Cirque du Soleil's Luzia

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Luzia. It was co-written by Daniele Finzi Pasca and Julie Hamelin Finzi. It was directed by Pasca, and the associate director was Brigitte Poupart. The acrobatic choreographers were Edesia Moreno Barata, Debra Brown, and Sylvia Gertrúdix González. It was a circus show about a clown (Eric Fool Koller) who jumped out of a plane and landed in Mexico and found a windup key that makes a whole magical land appear. He meets so many fascinating people, animals, and plants while in the process of trying to get water. This is a super mesmerizing and awesome show. It was a super fun experience and the circus elements were awesome to look at. It was just a really great show.

There were two juggling acts. One was with hands and one was with feet; one was with clubs and one was with soccer balls. The Football Dance (Laura Biondo and Abou Traoré) was a duet where they were doing soccer tricks, balancing the ball on their foot or their knee and and tossing it in the air. I thought it was really awesome because they used a practical thing and turned it into something mesmerizing and fun to watch. The performers were really into it and acknowledging the other when they would do something impressive. The more traditional juggling (Rudolf Janecek) was with these shiny silver clubs. I have never seen juggling so fast. You couldn't even track one. It was crazy. He did so many amazing tricks; it was so hypnotizing to watch. Whenever he would do anything impressive or when you were scared for him because he was doing complex tricks, you would get this jolt of energy when he got it right. I felt so connected to the performance, that when something went right it felt like a personal victory!

Water was a very big theme in the show. The clown was trying to get it and it was worked into lots of the different acts. The clown would keep getting rained on or see a pool of water and try to fill up his canteen, but the word hated him, so he couldn't get any in his canteen. I wanted to keep telling him, stop being so excited about the presence of water and just get some because it is going to disappear in thirty seconds. It was kind of frustrating but really hilarious. He was so clueless to the pattern of things. It was not the kind of clown humor that was just somebody falling down for a laugh. He would prepare for so long to get in the pool, but by the time he was ready to get into the pool, it was gone. Also, everything was like a dad joke to him; he would really enjoy his own jokes. The rain was first introduced with the Trapeze (Enya White) and Cyr Wheel (Angelica Bongiovonni) act when it started raining and the performers would do their tricks in the water and it was beautiful and glorious to watch. They had moments where they would come together and moments where they would move apart, and it was beautiful. There was also an aerial straps act, where a demigod (Benjamin Courtenay) befriends a jaguar (puppeteers Gerardo Ballester Franzoni, Biondo, and Emmanuel Cyr; puppet designer Max Humphries) and performs this act above and in the water, flipping around so his long hair sprays rings around him. It was really captivating and awe-inspiring.

There were three larger group acts that I especially enjoyed. Adagio was an act where there were three men (Anton Glazkov, Krzystof Holowenko, and Grzegorz Piotr Ros) who were pursuing this lady (Kelly McDonald) at a jazz club. They would toss her from person to person, and they would lift her, and she would do flips in the air and land on a piano. It was really graceful. It was amazing because it was so seamless. Everything fit together so perfectly, and it seemed effortless. Masts and Poles was a dance that was performed by men and women (McDonald, Stéphane Beauregard, Dominic Cruz, Devin Henderson, Marta Henderson, and Maya Kesselman) and it was really cool. I was scared for their heads when they would slide down and their heads would almost touch the bottom, but perfectly not. It seemed so perilous and it was really terrifying but gorgeous to watch. At the very beginning of the show they had hoop diving with these people (Beauregard, Cruz, D. Hendersen, M. Hendersen, Michael Hottier, Kesselman, and Ian Vazquez) in beautiful hummingbird costumes (designed by Giovanna Buzzi). They would flip through these hoops, do backflips, and jump off of people's hands--all on a moving treadmill. They would sometimes do two-person jumps, which was really terrifying. The anticipation was terrible, but in a good way.

People who would like this show are people who like mesmerizing circus, hummingbird hoop tricks, and water. I think that people should definitely go see this show. It is so much fun to experience. The performers are amazing and it is such a crazy fun show.

Photos: Matt Beard © 2017 Cirque du Soleil

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