Cirque du Soleil returns with Amaluna, a new show set to tour Canada through the end of the year. Amaluna’s name is a fusion of the words ama, referring to “mother” in many languages, and luna, meaning “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 invites the audience to experience this unique 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, marking the passing of these characteristics from one generation to the next.
As the story unfolds in the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, setting the stage for an emotional love story 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.
“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 and Writer Diane Paulus says: “Amaluna is less about feminism and more about reconnecting to our world in a different way.”
Cirque du Soleil is known for its incredibly colourful and detailed costumes and this show will be no exception. Inspired by Asia Minor, the corseted costumes of the Amazon warriors are augmented with ponytails and high-heeled black and red leather boots in a look that is more fantasy than historical reality. Amaluna’s world also includes costumed half-human, half-animal characters, lizards, peacocks and fairies.
Amaluna costume designer Mérédith Caron has brought a company of fabulous and eclectic characters to life through the magic of her creations. She imagined the world of the show – the mysterious island of Amaluna – as existing somewhere in the Mediterranean as a true meeting place between East and West, a distant land where ancient and modern times overlap and blend harmoniously, with different eras and cultures melding into one location.
Mérédith was additionally inspired by the clothing styles of major figures in the worlds of music, fashion, and film such as k.d. lang, Roy Orbison, John Galliano, Tim Burton — even a rock version of the Village People. “You might well see girls in these kinds of clothes among the heterogeneous fauna of a bar in avant-garde Berlin, for example,” says Mérédith, “hence the link between the costumes, the music and the decidedly rock sensibility of a show that celebrates beauty in all its guises.”
Scott Pask’s set creates a mysterious, lush, and enchanted island whose most important feature is a carefully crafted forest of bamboo-like branches that both frame and surround the action.
Amaluna world-premiered in Montreal on April 19, 2012. During its first year, the show will tour a few cities across Canada, including Quebec City, Toronto, and Vancouver. It will then travel to Seattle and return to Canada with stops in Edmonton and Calgary in 2013. All 120 of the cast and crew represent a total of 17 countries: Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Greece, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Cirque du Soleil Presents Amaluna
Dates: November 23 to December 30
Venue: Concord Pacific Place, Vancouver
Tickets: $43.50 to $143.50; available online
The Tapit Rouge VIP experience includes access to the VIP ROUGE tent (an hour before the show and during intermission), food and wines, souvenirs, complimentary parking, private restroom and coat check, and other perks – splash out for the holidays! Adults $268.50; Kids (2-12) $192