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Luzia, Cirque du Soleil’s tribute to an imaginary Mexico

Written By | Jul 10, 2017

Photo credit Matt Beard Costumes Giovanna Buzzi 2016 Cirque du Soleil

DENVER,  July 10, 2017- You just jumped out of a plane and are skydiving with a parachute of questionable quality.  After some frantic struggles with your gear, you finally manage to make a safe landing in a field of orange marigolds. Not quite sure where you are, you turn a magical key and suddenly find yourself being chased by a woman who spreads her wings after she is transformed into a huge monarch butterfly.

Is it a dream or reality?

In this case, it’s the opening act of Cirque du Soleil’s performance of Luzia unveiled under the big top. This traveling show is the 38th production of the famous Montreal-based entertainment company that has brought its unique sights and sounds to Denver, Colorado.

Using their trademark combinations of light, color, talented performers, and original music, Cirque du Soleil takes you on a magical dream journey, a collage of sorts, to an imaginary Mexico.

Constructing a platform that would meet the needs of this show was a challenge. It features a circular rotating stage that also contains a colossal treadmill. This creates the sensation of continual movement by the performers as they do various acrobatic feats such as jumping backward, forwards, and while bent in half through 30” hoops.

Photo credit Matt Beard Costumes Giovanna Buzzi 2016 Cirque du Soleil

The set designers have created some eye-popping visuals such as a huge circular medallion in the background that radiates vibrant colors and images like the setting sun. During the Cyr wheel and trapeze scene, two women are flying around the stage among agave plants while using large hoops as their transport vehicles. This dreamlike, surreal visual culminates with an overhead trapeze artist performing acrobatic feats— in the rain!

Speaking of rain (another technical issue that the creators had to figure out), sheets of a backlit waterfall fell on the stage with designs like horses, leaves, and trees visible in the water.

In a nod to Mexican cinema from the 1920s, an enthusiastic film director choreographs a scene that includes waves, a buoy, and a rather buff lifeguard. Using a series of poles, the lifeguard builds an ever taller structure that he then balances himself upon, sometimes with one hand, sometimes in an iron cross position. At the apex of about 20 feet from the floor, he performs aerial feats of strength that had the audience cheering.

The beach clown scene features a man, always thirsty for water, stopping at the beach to play with a beach ball. He engages the audience using nothing more than a whistle as his means of communication and the results are hilarious.

The Denver performance is the 17th show that Cirque du Soleil has performed under the big top. With 1,300 artistic performers from nearly 50 countries, they have entertained more than 160 million spectators worldwide. Luzia, part dream, and part reality, will both enchant and enliven your soul with the images they have created from the Mexico of bygone days.

FTC Disclosure: This was a sponsored visit, however, all opinions herein are the authors.

Ron Stern

Ron Stern aka "The Global Gumshoe," I am a travel photojournalist and the author of hundreds of international and domestic travel articles. I am the Denver City Guide Editor for The Daily Meal, and a staff writer for Communities Digital News. My articles have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, San Diego Union-Tribune, Sun Sentinel, Yahoo News, MSN, and others. Magazines include Shape, Cruise, AAA Motorist, Visit Los Cabos Guide, Destinations West, Key Biscayne and La Jolla Today. My contributions have been noted by PBS, Mobil Travel Guides and my photography/ videography has been used extensively by entities such as tourism boards and public relations firms.