LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil
We drove up to the Pepsi Center last night and were greeted by a striking white and gold big top tent. It was FINALLY time for the Denver Premiere of Cirque de Soleil’s LUZIA, A Waking Dream of Mexico! We had been looking forward to this show for months, and Denverites, this show did not disappoint. It is a MUST SEE! LUZIA is in Denver till July 9th and you do not want to miss this. Find your tickets here:
HUGE shout-out to Debbie Fitzgerald for inviting us to the premiere! We were utterly BLOWN AWAY by the beauty and the true human art form that takes place on the LUZIA stage through acrobatics, dance, and song.
We walked into the big top tent, found our seats, and soon were transported and completely engulfed by an imaginary Mexico.
The show starts with a clown of a traveler whose parachute fails to open upon jumping out of an airplane (yikes!). Luckily, a small umbrella is able to save him from his disastrous fall and he finds himself in Mexico!
Upon landing in Mexico, the traveler is taken aback when a beautiful monarch, the Running Woman, bursts forth onto the scene. Her giant wings flutter and consume the stage in vibrant orange and yellow waves. The traveler looks on in complete awe; as do we! The Running Woman with her powerful legs sprints around the spinning stage; a massive & magnificent steel horse gallops behind her as she runs. The Running Woman is LUZIA’s personification of the Tarahumara people of Mexico. The Tarahumara are renowned for their long-distance running ability. The Running Woman is a joyous sight to take in as her athleticism catapults her forward, her wings flow behind, and a confident smile adorns her face.
Soon several acrobatic hummingbirds take to the stage for some hoop diving! These acrobats with humming bird heads and wings come from Aztec mythology. This is part of LUZIA’s ode to surrealism. These birds are true athletes as they shoot themselves one by one, through the air, needling through hoops stacked on top of each other on moving belts! The acrobats then up the ante with partner flips and somersaults through the hoops. Talk about some major precision!
Then came Enya White on the trapeze with hula hoop acrobats spinning and twirling below. Enya’s performance on this aerial apparatus was marvelous as she spun, swung, and flew seamlessly threw the air of the big top. A torrential downpour falls from the ceiling during Enya’s performance and she cascades through the sheet of water, spinning like a tornado in its midst. This was a truly beautiful scene; Enya you are amazing!
Next came the strong man, Ugo Laffolay, whose body is a piece of art in itself (wait till you SEE this guy ladies!). Canes are stacked on top of each other periodically while Ugo uses his hands to support his entire body weight and balance atop them. Ugo does some MAJOR flirting with the audience which we THROUGHOULY enjoyed. We swore Ugo was looking right at us half the time with his winks and eyebrow raises (or maybe we just wanted him to be lol lol)! We see you Ugo; hey boy heeeey!!! Ugo entertains the crowd atop the canes with handstands, iron crosses, and even pushups! This guy is RIPPED. Ugo is soon high up in the air balancing on the canes, and you can see every arm muscle and vein in his body swelling, holding the strapping acrobat in place. The strength here was beyond belief. Ugo then disappears into the ceiling as a seagull comes and takes him away. Goodbye dear Ugo, we’ll miss you!
The traveler then comes back onstage for some audience interaction which we loved! He will keep you laughing throughout the entire show.
Two athletes came on the stage a bit later and performed some remarkable tricks with soccer balls, Mexican fútbol! Can you say, GOOOOOOOOOOOL! These athletes had some major moves up their sleeves as they moved the soccer balls from their foreheads, to their heads, to their backs, to their feet!
The first half of the show concludes with a percussion parade, wrapping the crowd up in some authentic Mexican tunes!
*Intermission* (we found ourselves treated to some LUZIA sugar cookies and some wine as well; don’t mind if we do!)
The second half of LUZIA starts off with reptilian acrobats twisted around several masts and poles that are secured to the spinning stage. These pole dancing specialists are hypnotic as they coil, twist, and drop headfirst to the stage, all whilst holding onto their poles. These pole specialist have AMAZING bodies and it’s a beautiful thing to see their muscles working to keep them affixed to their mast. “Look at her ABS!” I exclaimed to my sister while shoving a soft pretzel covered in cheese into my mouth lol. Teach me your ways pole specialists, teach me your ways!
One of my favorite parts of the second half of LUZIA is the living embodiment of mythology piece where a demigod of rain emerges from water center stage. In Mayan myth, this demigod emerges from a cenote which they believed was a gateway to the afterlife. This demigod, played by Benjamin Courtenay, has incredible acrobatic skill and strength as he performs with water detailing while on acrobatic straps. Water flies pristinely from his long black hair while he performs. Benjamin gains the trust of an enormous jaguar throughout his act. The jaguar in this piece is an amazing example of the costumes and props LUZIA utilizes; they spare no expense when transporting you into this cirque version of Mexico and this scene was VISUALLY SUPERB.
A juggler, Rudolf Janecek, soon comes onto the stage and let's talk about balance and ambidexterity people! This guy ends up juggling SIX gleaming silver clubs and you can see his passion for the art come through in his performance. The concentration Rudolf possesses is one to be admired as he has truly mastered the art of juggling!
Next on stage was the contortionist, Aleksei Goloborodko. I had my mouth open in shock and awe through Aleksei’s ENTIRE performance. Aleksei appears on stage coiled and looped around himself and then unfurls to perform several inhuman flexible acts that had us thinking “This guy doesn’t have any bones!”. Don’t worry he does lol, but he may as well not! Aleksei’s EXTREME flexibility is mind blowing…literally mind blowing. His shocking and sensual contortion act had as gasping and cheering as he captivated the entire audience with his frontbending, backbending, splits, oversplits, enterology, and dislocations.
The swing to swing piece had us on the edge of our seats as two massive swings, that looked almost like battering rams, were set up on the rotating stage and acrobats catapulted and launched themselves from swing to swing, flipping, splitting, and twisting in the air. This piece was high intensity and I found myself holding my breath and then erupting in a cheer each time an acrobat took that dangerous jump from one swing to the other!
The show wraps up with a beautiful fiesta! The entire cast of the show is feasting and drinking around a massive table which makes for an exuberant and visually animated scene! The entire crowd was smiling and energetically clapping along; it’s a perfect ending to the marvelous Mexican dream that is LUZIA.
So have we convinced you yet? Do not miss out on this masterpiece Denverites! You won’t regret attending. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU LUZIA for a hands down extraordinary night!