The sun was shining bright in Denver as Xposer Magazine takes a behind-the-scenes walk-through of Cirque Du Soleil’s current tour ‘Luzia’. With the traditional tent style, you can see the peaks of them upon entering the Pepsi Center parking lot. The excitement begins to build, as this will be my very first time getting a peek at what it takes to put together a tour of this caliber. With 115 people on this tour, 71 staff and 44 performers, Luzia is one of the bigger tours that Cirque Du Soleil has to offer. A newer one, just recently beginning in April, Luzia has already created major waves in the arts & entertainment world. The visual concepts are amazing, even just as I gaze from the empty chairs as the performers practice their routines. Goosebumps begin making their way down my arms from the emotions I could feel emanating from the stage. Publicist Francis Jalbert gave us the walkthrough and spoke briefly of what would take place during the actual performance. “6k liters of water will be used for this performance”, this will be falling from the ceiling as rain over the performers and fill a pool of water incorporated into another scene. The story of Luzia is meant to take you on a trip, to an imaginary Mexico, something similar to a waking dream. It is one of light and rain, both so essential for your soul.
With a stage that rotates a full 360° you are sure to get quite a view from wherever you happen to be in the room. The rotating stage also provides an extra challenge for the hoop divers that will be performing in the show. We sat down with Dominic Cruz and Devin Henderson, who gave us an inside perspective on just what it takes to be “on your toes” during their specific performance. Being able to perform these maneuvers on non-rotating ground is hard enough but add in a treadmill that creates movement in the rings and I am floored that this is even possible! Both men were quick to say there was a learning curve there however, once they mastered it, it became like a walk in the park.
At 24, Dominic Cruz is the youngest boy in his family, having two older brothers to look up to. His mother was a wonderful influence to him, founding a nonprofit child choir allowing them to travel the world. She always encouraged him to follow his heart and go for his dreams, even if that was only to join the circus. He showed talent from a young age, playing the piano for just over 10 years; Dominic also loved the performing arts and would train alongside of his brothers whenever he got the chance. He remembers his biggest inspiration being the big traveling circus acts, because he knew that meant he had a chance to become someone great.
Interestingly enough, it turns out that this particular group of talent happen to have a lot of history together! Devin and Dominic have trained at both the National Circus School in Montreal and under the prestigious hand of Master Lu Yi, an ex-coach of the Nanjing Circus troupe in China. Specializing in Chinese Pole and Hoop Diving, these two acrobats know each other well which lends to a great performance for the audience creating more fluidity in the movements.
Devin, much like Dominic grew up watching his older brothers perform. Noticing he had natural acrobatic skills, his family encouraged him to do what he loved. Devin’s sister Marta will also be performing alongside her brother. Something they have done for many years in San Francisco, but now they have the ability to perform for the whole world! Performing on stage is much more than just wearing the costume. The music creates the buildup, the momentum for the characters. Moods and feelings can change with a simple crescendo or fall… all meant to give the viewer a more personal experience. Devin mentions of how the drum beat will be timed with how he hits through the rings or on certain marks for emphasis, making the moment that much more powerful to watch. He can remember a time after a performance; he was rushing off the stage to come close into the crowd when he came upon a young boy in a wheelchair. The boy had no legs yet the smile and light in his eyes would lead you to believe otherwise. Beyond elated, the boy brought tears to Devin’s eyes as he saw just how much his performance could move someone that way. This was one of his favorite memories he shared. A very amazing one at that.
Luzia will be one to not miss so make sure you get your tickets now before they sell out.
See you tonight for Opening Night of Luzia and stay tuned for our coverage from that as well!
Photos by Teddy G / Xposer Photography