I first heard of Cirque du Soleil when my husband and I traveled to Las Vegas a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to see a Cirque du Soleil show, but we always end up going to either a comedy show or a live rock concert whenever we have the chance. Ask my husband why. 😉
So I was invited to see Cirque du Soleil Amaluna and needless to say, I was beyond thrilled! Finally. A Cirque du Soleil show and at one of our family’s favorite places to go – the National Harbor. We live like 30 minutes from here and we love visiting this place with the kids, especially in the Summer and Fall. So I was happy to have my husband, my seventeen year-old stepson and my sister in-law to come see the show with me a couple weeks ago and what a great time we had!
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 honours 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.
What is or Who is “Amaluna”?
The name 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 and protector of the planet. Amaluna is also the name of the mysterious island where the story unfolds. Amaluna’s Tony Award-winning Show Director, Diane Paulus, drew from a series of classical influences when creating the concept of the show; including tales from Greek and Norse mythology, Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.
For the first time at Cirque du Soleil, the cast of a show is 70% female and the band, 100%. “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,“ he adds. Show Director Diane Paulus says: “I didn’t want to build a ‘women’s agenda’ show. I wanted to create a show with women at the center of it, something that had a hidden story that featured women as the heroines.”
First, I have got to applaud the raw talent, physical strength, mastery and precision at which each character performed their special skills in EACH and EVERY scene in Amaluna! Yes. I wrote those two words in capital letters because I absolutely loved every single scene in this show! Not one boring moment here, my friends. I have been in many acrobatic and circus shows in my life, but I have never seen such unique acts and talents these characters have shown. I mean, the flying out of these people high over the audience with nothing but sheer clothing and not-so-thick-looking body straps, suspending high from the carousels, climbing up poles, precise hand balancing, diving and snaking through a huge glass waterbowl with such grace, juggling numerous balls high up in the sky, etcetera. Everything (and I mean everything!) in this show is absolutely breath-taking! The acts, the music, the costumes, the set design, the colors and special effects – I love, love, love everything about them! Eclectic, fabulous and mysterious.
So.. like any live show I watch, I do have my own favorite acts. I have my top two favorites and because I’m nice and I don’t want to ruin the show for you (if you haven’t watched it yet), I promise I’ll be brief. 😉
On top of my fave scenes is the Cerceau and Waterbowl scene. Here, The Moon Goddess appears to Miranda riding a Cerceau, bestowing her blessing with a haunting song. Romeo watches as Miranda plays in the waterbowl, discovering her own physicality and expressing her sinuous sexuality as she performs a challenging hand-balancing routine before diving and snaking through the water. He joins her in the water, where they innocently play and tentatively kiss for the first time.
The Balance Goddess act has got to be the most unique balancing act I’ve ever seen. Here, Prospera brings Romeo and Miranda to witness the Balance Goddess creating a world in equilibrium with a mobile made of thirteen palm leaf ribs. An ode to balance, her movements are slow, deliberate and almost meditative as she concentrates all her attention on this literally breathtaking structure. And then she removes the smallest piece, everything disintegrates and the young couple’s trials begin.
Of course, there are lots of other spectacular acts in this show. My husband’s top favorite scene is the amazing juggling act of half-human, half-lizard character named Cali. My husband couldn’t stop saying, “Sweety, I want to be a professional juggler like that guy”, when we got home (lol).
But don’t just take my word for it. Go see the show if you can. I promise it’s the best $40 you’ll ever spend on a live, spectacular show! It’s a ton of fun for the whole family!
About Cirque du Soleil:
*Hip Mama’s Place Disclosure: “My reviews and opinions are 100% my own. Cirque du Soleil sent me complimentary tickets necessary to see the show and to facilitate my review“.
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About the Author: Jocelyn Cañasa-Brown is a working mom of two boys and is a recognized blogger and mom influencer in the Washington, DC area. In her spare time, she designs and creates her own handmade jewelry, maintains her jewelry store on Etsy and is an active moms group organizer and leader both online and offline. Hip Mama’s Place was nominated for Parents 2011 Best All-Around Mom Blog and named one of the Highest Rated Blogs and Sites on Nickelodeon ParentsConnect for the Washington, DC area. Follow Jocelyn on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.