It’s always a wondrous world of imagination, colorful delight and flights of fancy under le grand chapiteau.
Cirque du Soleil’s newest show Luzia, transports you through a dreamlike web of an imagined Mexico. The stage is filled with the usual array of luxuriously colored costumes, giant sized insect heads worn as ornate head ware, a full sized human operated horse, a magnificent jaguar puppet, a vibrant natural landscape and an architecturally inspired set which includes stunning rainfalls cascading from the ceiling, and a cenote – a sinkhole which the Mayans believed was a portal to the afterlife.
Cirque never fails to awaken the senses. The stage becomes a swirling wonderland of movement, acrobatics, color, and magic. Luzia is thoroughly enjoyable and the production truly captures the essence of Mexico with nods to Aztec mythology, old-time cinema, nature and several other important cultural aspects. Original music has been composed by Canadian composer Simon Carpentier and sung to perfection by Mexico’s own Majo Cornejo.
At the center of the story is the clown, charmingly played by Eric Fool Koller who parachutes out of the sky and lands in a giant field of marigolds—he turns a giant key and is transported on a magical journey. Although clowns are always featured in Cirque shows, Koller’s character was central in moving the story forward, ushering us through the wondrous maze of dreams.
The aerial straps act performed by Benjamin Courtenay is stunning. Using the cenote in the middle of the stage, the artist gracefully whips through the air and rotates in and out of the water. The charming juggler Rudolf Janecek manages to juggle up to seven pins, the speed so fast that the pins blur together under the stage lights. Then there is Russian contortionist Aleksei Goloborodko. I have never seen anyone contort their body into the positions that this young man does, it’s both enthralling and disturbing at the same time. Goloborodko started working on his craft at the age of 4, and I assure you, you have never seen anything like it.
The story line of Luzia isn’t as fluid as Cirque’s Kurios, Cabinet of Curiosities from a few years ago. Perhaps because it is inspired by dreams, this show is more fragmented which makes it a bit harder to follow the through-line. Despite that, Luzia is a highly entertaining night and Cirque never ceases to surprise and inspire.
Luzia by Cirque du Soleil plays now through October 16 at Toronto Port Lands.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com