Cirque du Soleil makes history when it sets up its blue and yellow striped Grand Chapiteau (big top tent) at Atlantic Station in midtown Atlanta for its production of Amaluna. Cirque’s 33rd production showcases more than its iconic, mesmerizing dramatic acrobatic performances. For the first time at Cirque du Soleil, the 75% of the cast and 100% of the band is female.
Written and directed by Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus, Amaluna is a celebration of love. Amaluna is less about feminism and more about reconnecting to our world in a different way, Paulus said.
“Amaluna is a tribute to the work and voice of women,” explains Director of Creation Fernand Rainville. “The show is a reflection on balance from a woman’s perspective.”
Loosely inspired by William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, is currently in Atlanta until Nov. 30 as part of its 2014-15 tour in the United States and Spain, “Amaluna” is a fusion of the words “ama”, which refers to mother in many languages, and “luna”, which means moon, a symbol of femininity that evokes both the mother-daughter relationship and the idea of goddess.
Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next.
In the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, triggering an epic, emotional story of love between Prospera’s daughter and a brave young suitor. But theirs is a love that will be put to the test. The couple must face numerous demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony.
Each “test” is an act, designed to pull the audience in. Cast members in Aerial Straps fly out over the audience suspended from the Carousel, a rotating set high above them. Or the Amazons – the fierce feminine force of the island – to present a fast-paced theatrical version of the classic gymnastic routine. Throughout, the characters enter and exit down the aisles, making you feel that you could be pulled in to be part of the action.
Two of these are truly unique. In one, our hero, Romeo, tries to reunite with Miranda by climbing up a pole in an exhibition of sheer muscular strength and inventive, supple routine that routine will make you gasp as he climbs a 30-foot Chinese Pole, rapidly slides down and abruptly stops just inches from the floor, holding dramatic poses.
Also, Prospera brings Romeo and Miranda to witness the Balance Goddess creating a world in equilibrium with a mobile made of 13 palm leaf ribs. In an ode to balance, she moves slowly, deliberately and is almost meditative as she concentrates all her attention on this literally breathtaking structure. Then she removes the smallest piece, everything disintegrates and the young couple’s trials begin.
After Amaluna’s run in Atlanta ends on November 30, it goes to Miami, Houston, then to Madrid, Spain. The Cirque du Soleil Group is a Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment.
Cirque du Soleil
Since its beginnings in 1984, close to 150 million spectators in over 300 cities on six continents have been thrilled by Cirque du Soleil. The company and its divisions is a creative content provider for a wide variety of unique projects. In addition to shows, the company, which has its International Headquarters in Montreal, extends its creative talent to other spheres of activity. While maintaining stringent standards of artistic quality and originality, Cirque du Soleil brings to innovative projects the same energy and spirit that characterize each of its shows.
For more information, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.