Cirque du Soleil has arrived in the Seattle area with its new show Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico, with performances at Marymoor Park in Redmond through May 21. The production is a visually stunning, family friendly experience that will amaze and delight.
Luzia features more acrobatic performances than your typical Cirque du Soleil show, which means more thrills as the acrobats soar high above, swing through curtains of rain, or catapult from one side of the stage to the other. My family was invited to attend the premiere of Luzia and the show captivated my son as his friend from the first act to the last. Both boys were still talking about the show the following day.
Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia uses several new technologies to tell its story. The stage is round and periodically rotates, which gives everyone in the audience a perfect view no matter where you are seated. The show opens with a monarch butterfly running on a treadmill, with her long wings flowing. As her wings spread, she runs on a giant treadmill that spans the width of the stage. The massive treadmill, which at one time was used in a manufacturing plant, is powered by multiple car batteries hidden in its interior.
A large sun disk, an iconic image from Mexico, hangs at the back of the stage and comes to life from the lighting and projection effects used throughout the show. Luzia’s most impressive new technology is the use of water, which has not previously been seen in a traveling Cirque du Soleil show. At times, the curtain of water is used to represent a rain forest. Other times, the drops of water fall in the patterns of birds and fish to create a stunning visual effect. In one scene, a performer swings through the curtain of rain, which makes what was already a daring performance even more dramatic.
In an age where attention spans are short and children constantly ask for your phone to play games, it was refreshing to see my son and his friend captivated for the duration of the experience. When we arrived at Marymoor Park, we were greeted by performers outside the tent and found a mariachi band and dancers inside. Upon taking our seats, the boys were glued to the animation on the stage and cheered for each of the stunning performances. The soccer players were the boys’ favorite act. Hopefully they don’t try any of the soccer ball stunts at home.
I was impressed by Cirque du Soleil’s artistic direction which used imagery of Mexico’s folklore and wildlife. The cast included Latin American artists, as well as the usual mix of international performers, which created a show that had the familiar Cirque feel but felt distinctly authentic to the theme.
Cirque du Soleil is family friendly and Luzia does not contain any “scary” elements. There are several scenes with animal imagery and animal puppetry, in addition to giant cacti that are fun to watch. The rotating stage makes it easy for children to see all elements of the acts. Cirque du Solei has large, padded booster seats for children, which you can find as you enter the tent. They just slip onto the seat to give your child a comfortable, unobstructed view of the stage. Don’t forget to grab some popcorn and cotton candy as you enter the main tent.
Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico performs at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA through May 21, 2017. For tickets and more information, visit cirquedusoleil.com/luzia.
Photo credit : Laurence Labat / Costumes: Giovanna Buzzi / 2016 Cirque du Soleil