A surreal setting where you are immersed in Mexico’s many vivid landscapes, a running woman who is half monarch, a live band, and a giant treadmill where hoop divers spring through the air effortlessly.
These are a few of the many unforgettable scenes that you will become a part of when you are an audience member at Cirque Du Soleil Luzia, now showing at Suffolk Downs until August 12.
The show, having already been performed more than 800 times in various cities across the world, is designed to take your breath away with its magnificent colors, lighting, and acrobatic performances. There is no shortage of color and every article of wardrobe and each prop was carefully chosen to stay true to the vision of the show’s theme and design.
“It’s got such strong, vivid and beautiful images and you feel this connection to Mexico. An element of magic,” said cast member Shelli Epstein. “It’s a feel-good show.”
Epstein stars as the “Running Woman,” where she is half monarch, half human and the symbolism is not lost on her character, as these birds are known for their migration from Canada to Mexico. In a costume that showcases the bird’s many colors while keeping her humanity intact, Epstein can be seen soaring through the air on a Russian swing, complete with steel bars and a platform designed to give way to jaw-dropping acrobatic performances.
The show has been going strong for two and a half years and it’s evident in the bond amongst the staff members. Like a well-oiled machine, the cast and crew of Luzia works fluidly to execute a memorable show.
Melbourne, Australia native Nelson Smyles is one of the many hoop divers, but also doubles as a clown. For Smyles, being part of the show is a dream come true. Since he was 4-years-old, he’s been so passionate about gymnastics and performing, that he taught himself when acrobatic schools weren’t nearby. Having just recently graduated from the National Institute of Circus Arts in December, Smyles is beyond happy to be a part of the show.
“It’s awesome, it’s a dream come true,” he said.
Much in the same way that each scene is designed to take you into a different universe inside Mexico’s many landscapes, every piece of the show’s wardrobe is meticulously chosen to highlight each of the 45 cast members. From a dress that blooms roses by way of wireless technology, to bold patterns that naturally light up the stage, the amount of work that goes into each show will not be lost on the audience.
Head of wardrobe, Amanda Balius has been working with Cirque du Soleil for 19 years and she is no stranger to the many changes that have a tendency to come up throughout the process of a show.
“Most change is driven from need,” said Balius, who is responsible for making sure the costumes are working and they allow for the many acrobatic tricks that are executed on the stage. A bible of costumes is kept on hand to make sure the intent of the designer is always evident; however, there are times when things need to be altered to allow for more fluidity and comfort.
“What I like about Luzia is that you always see the human, even though they are in costume,” said Balius. “It was important to the designer and director that we retain the human and we want them to be seen as people.”
From June 27 until August 12, there will be 60 performances offered at Suffolk Downs. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at: www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia.