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Cirque’s ‘Amaluna’ makes its U.S. debut at Marymoor Park

  • Written by Deborah Stone
Cirque Amaluna Water Bowl act courtesy
Courtesy Photo. Amaluna water bowl act
Cirque du Soleil returns to Marymoor Park this winter with its new production, “Amaluna.”

The show, which had its world premiere in Montreal last April, is directed by New York theatrical maven, Diane Paulus, who is known for productions that go beyond the boundaries of conventional theatrical settings to involve audiences in immersive environments.

This will be the show’s U.S. debut and marks the third time the company has performed under the Big Top at Marymoor.

“It’s also the first time for Cirque to do a show in winter at this venue,” adds Catherine Major, of C Major Marketing. “But people don’t have to worry about being cold, as the Big Top is fully heated and it’s quite cozy in there.”

As for the theme of “Amaluna,” Major notes that it loosely follows the storyline of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Audiences are invited to a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Prospera, the queen, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance.

She causes a storm, which brings a group of young men to the island, triggering an epic love story between the queen’s daughter, Miranda, and a brave young suitor named Romeo.

The couple’s love is put to a test and they must face a series of challenging trials and overcome setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust and faith.


CdS_Amaluna_act Tight Wire CWP_218
Courtesy Photo. Amaluna tight wire act
The name “Amaluna” is a melding of the words “ama,” which refers to “mother” in numerous languages, and “luna,” which means “moon” and symbolizes femininity.

 

It evokes the mother-daughter relationship and the notion of goddess and protector of the planet.

“Amaluna” is also the name of the mysterious island where the story takes place.

Of note, this is the first show for Cirque where 70 percent of the cast of 52 artists is female and the entire accompanying musical band is comprised of women.

“Amaluna is a tribute to the work and voice of women,” explains Fernand Rainville, the show’s creative director. “The show is a reflection on balance from a woman’s perspective.”

Director Diane Paulus says, “Amaluna is less about feminism and more about reconnecting to our world in a different way.”

There are many exciting acts in the production, one of which includes a giant, crystal water bowl in which Miranda performs a challenging hand-balancing routine before diving and snaking through the container.

Romeo subsequently joins her and the two perform a lovely series of movements together.

In another, several of the performers fly out over the audience on straps suspended from a carousel apparatus that rotates high above them.

In “Manipulation,” Prospera brings Romeo and Miranda to watch the Balance Goddess creating a world in equilibrium with a mobile made of palm leaf ribs.

Breathtaking acrobatics are at the heart of “Teeterboard,” where young men launch themselves high into the air and land in seemingly impossible positions.

Four artists showcase their skills in an innovative tight wire act, as they dance a tango, bounce into the air like trampolinists and walk the wire in high heels and “en pointe” in ballet toe shoes.

Of course, the uneven bars and unicycle also make appearances in two dazzling numbers, and then there are Cirque’s wonderfully comical and talented clowns who provide ongoing entertainment throughout the show.

Scott Pask’s set is evocative of a lush, enchanted island with a forest of bamboo-like branches that provides the frame for the action which unfolds on stage.

“It’s a very romantic and beautiful show,” comments Major, “as well as being incredibly theatrical.”

Cirque du Soleil’s “Amaluna” opens January 31 under the Big Top at Marymoor Park in Redmond.

For ticket information: www.cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna.


Cirque du Soleil’s “Amaluna” opens January 31 under the Big Top at Marymoor Park in Redmond.

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