Premiere night of Luzia in Denver and the weather is perfect for the show. Located outside under the big top tent, the Cirque team prepares for opening hour. The crowd begins to form as the hour draws near. Upon entering the big top, you are greeted by stilt-walkers and people handing out flowers. Free beverages and popcorn are available at the concession stands to ensure all attendees will be happy and full for the start of the show. As everyone begins to take their seats, the opening performers get the crowd ready and the lights begin to dim.
An announcer comes over the speakers and in Spanish, paints a picture of what is to come. We hear an airplane engine and our hero of the night appears free falling from the sky. Upon landing on the ground, he begins his journey into Luzia, an imaginary dreamland of Mexico with his first stop being a magical dance with a monarch butterfly being followed by a magnificent stallion. A beautiful opening performance flowing perfectly into the hummingbird hoop divers. Running across a treadmill and diving into hoops is not exactly easy, but this group of talented acrobats make it look like your everyday walk-in-the-park. First three rings are stacked and the performers do various jumps through each one, then four rings were stacked and the performers took turns going even bigger than they had before! This scene transitions to a gritty bar-room atmosphere where a woman croons her sad, sad song as you are taken away back in time as the dancers set the mood.
The name Luzia is a fusion between Luz: meaning light and Illuvia: meaning rain. Giving life to that name, Cirque du Soleil brings this to you in front of your very own eyes. For the first time ever in a big top show, Luzia explores the artistic potential of their performers by adding live water to the stage. Cyr wheel artists Angelica Bonglovonni and Rachel Salzman spin beautifully in tandem while Enya White twirls gracefully above them on her trapeze. Engaging the crowd prior to the rain, Enya’s strength is apparent as she easily transitions into visually stunning maneuvers. Halfway through their performance, the rain begins to fall, adding a very dangerous element to the finish of their act. Angelic and Rachel continue to dance and play in the rain below Enya as she swings 30 feet above. Literally, on the edge of my seat, I watch on as Enya hangs precariously from her perch so high above the stage. With the rain falling down, it made for an amazing sight.
After a brief intermission, the show continues with a trip into the beautiful tropical garden of Tlacopan. The mythical creatures perform stunning pole maneuvers that again remind you of just how strong these artists truly are! With the rotating stage, it allows everyone to have a great view of all the different angles given during the show. Music and lights change both the mood and scene allowing the transition from story to story following suit. The next scene to take place is that of the Demi God Tlaloc, the Supreme God of the rains. Taking the straps and using only one arm to perform flips, twirls and turns, Benjamin Courtenay truly does embody that of a Demi God during this particular performance, no mortal could possess this strength!
One of the most visually stimulating performance of the evening would be that of Aleksei Goloborodko. The only contortionist of tonight’s show, Aleksei embodies the role of the paper mache’ figurine alebrije. Coming to life, he performs stunning twists and turns of his body, that should not be humanly possible for anyone to do. My eyes glued to the stage, I watch as Aleksei contorts into almost unrecognizable forms. Absolutely amazing to watch, my only question is how does one find out that they are really capable of this sort of extreme art? Talent quite obviously is not all this art form takes but is stunning to see how one’s body can be pushed to perform the impossible!
As with any Cirque du Soleil performance, I am never let down. Always a visually stimulating and entertaining time, I would encourage all of you to check out this performance while they are in town.
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Hope you enjoy the photos and make sure to not miss this tour.
Till next time,
Photos by Teddy G / Xposer Photography