Beauty Under the Big Top
By Skip Sheffield
Cirque du Soleil is back in town with a new show, “Amaluna,” and a new location under a big top set up in a parking lot across from Sunlife Stadium in Miami through Jan. 23.
In French big top is Grand Chapiteau, which sounds much more elegant, and indeed this is an elegant female-centric show that started on tour in 2012 and is finally reaching us here at the bottom of the USA.
Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) is an all-human circus extravaganza from the Montreal-based company that is the largest theatrical company in the world. Instead of animals, Cirque du Soleil features amazing human tricks performed by the best acrobatic, balance, gymnastic and dance performers in the world. Like all Cirque du Soleil shows, “Amaluna” has minimal dialogue and maximum draw-dropping performances, costumes and sets.
Plot is probably the least important element in any Cirque du Soleil show, but for the record “Amaluna” is set on an enchanted island governed by goddesses who are guided by cycle of the moon. The chief goddess is Prospera (Julie McInnes) who has a lovely, tiny daughter named Miranda (Julia Mykhailova). My guess is Guy Laliberte and his 15 collaborators were inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” which has a male character named Prospero and a terrible storm.
There is a storm in “Amaluna” too, and it maroons a cast of young, virile and very agile men on the shores. One of them, Prince Romeo (Evgeny Kurkin, again with the Shakespeare) catches the eye of Miranda and proceeds to woo her.
This premise sets up the acrobatic, trapeze and juggling acts which include Storm, Peacock Dance, Cerceau (Andreanne Nadeau), Water Bowl (Julia Mykhailova) and Uneven Bars in Act One and Teeterboard, Balance Goddess (Lili Chao-Rigolo), Duo Trapeze (Anouk Blais, Guillaume Mesmin), Chinese Pole (Evgeny Kurkin), Juggling (Viktor Lee) and Aerial Straps (Virginia Kanovas, Sarah Hardy and Haley Viloria)
There is a lizard-like character named Cali (Viktor Kee) who has a crush on Miranda and a grudge against Prince Romeo, and of course there are clowns (Nathalie Claude is Jeeves and Shereen Hickman is Deeda) who are sent in to jolly up the story. Even the director (Diane Paulus) and the band is all-female, and they are excellent.
One thing I can guarantee: You will be dazzled by beauty and amazed by feats of agility, strength, balance, and gravity-defying acrobatics.
Tickets are $57, $76 and $102, with premium seats going all the way up to $360. Parking is $25, cash only. Call 866-624-7783 or go to www.cirquedusoleil.com.