By TIANA CANTU
Cirque du Soleil is known for their jaw-dropping performances ranging from motorcyclists defying the laws of gravity by completing full circles on half-pipes to contortionists to trapeze acts that leave the audience on the edges of their seats. Last year’s show was titled TORUK, and focused less on extraordinary acts and more on visual stimulation through light and sound. While it was not the classic stunt-filled show we all know to expect, it was still entertaining. However, out of the four Cirque Du Soleil shows I have been to, this year’s, LUZIA, is by far the best.
LUZIA is a “waking dream of Mexico” that envelops the culture of Mexico through setting, light, costumes and music. The show definitely has more of a “Mexico in the 1950’s” vibe, even though it does not necessarily advertise it that way. The costumes for the women were long skirts with dramatic updos and the men wore formal suits with a thin and clean mustache, which resembles Mexico in the 50’s much more than modern day. Nonetheless, the many different costumes were intricate and fitting for each act.
The show began with a dancer on a treadmill with a long train that, once the wind began, flew in the wind to show she was a monarch butterfly. The music to go with this opening performance left a feeling of excitement for what was still to come. After the monarch, performers in feathered costumes appeared with rings, looking somewhat like hula hoops, and began jumping through them at insane heights, including flips, back tucks and dives from 20 feet in the air. During this specific performance, there was an incident where three hoops were stacked on each other and the girl who was supposed to dive through the top loop did not make it and ended up knocking over all of the hoops. Although the performer was obviously not happy about it, the audience, after gasping of course, was very understanding and engulfed her in applause.
The show included a very active use of water. During some performances, water would come from the middle of the stage in a straight line, fall like rain, only to then make shapes such as flowers and animals. I had never seen anything like that before, and it really helped emphasize the performers and the beauty of the entire scene. A different act had a pool underneath a trapeze artist, and the performer would drop her body into the pool only to fling herself into the air again, leaving a design of water underneath her.
The entire show was well thought out and went off flawlessly. My personal favorite performance was the contortionist. Firstly, I have never seen a contortionist in my life. This man is presented on stage in a way that the audience thinks he is a box, then he unfolds himself out, while the entire audience is in awe once they understand that the “box” is actually a human. He would twist around so his head sat on his butt while he was in a full backbend, then proceed to walk. Honestly, everything he did is too profound to explain in words. It was almost as if he did not have any bones; as if he was licorice, able to twist and bend anyway he wanted. I still do not know whether this act freaked me out, but I do know that it thoroughly amazed me, and was the most outrageous act of the night.
Overall, the show was entertaining for the full two hours and includes a variety of acts that leaves something for everyone. It is currently showing in Costa Mesa for the full month of March. I think it represents the Mexican culture beautifully and has traditional music to perfectly accompany it. I personally wish I could see it a hundred more times, and would highly recommend getting tickets because I can promise that it is entirely unique to itself.