A couple of the segments involve more puppetry and dance than acrobatics, but still, the emphasis remains on the physical feats. Swings, trapeze, aerial ropes, Cyr wheels, poles and juggling are all memorable, though somehow the soccer stunts, meant to suggest the country’s affinity for the game, seem too prosaic when placed alongside the other more surreally extraordinary stunts.
You probably won’t get the chance to ask yourself the sensible question, “What on earth does a Russian contortionist have to do with Mexico?” because you’ll be gobsmacked by the freaky, insect-like moves of performer Aleksei Goloborodko, whose Act 2 appearance is undoubtedly one of the evening’s highlights.
A central treadmill and rotating stage help keep things moving, and though the evolving stage pictures can be busy with performers and activity, the overall feeling is satisfyingly intimate and balanced.
We were LIVE from the Cirque du Soleil big top to preview Cirque’s upcoming show: LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil. Tune in for a behind the scenes interview, a look at wardrobe and rehearsals ahead of the premiere.
Singer Majo Cornejo and guitarist Rodrigo de la Mora lead the band in providing lovely music keeping with the Mexican theme, though little of it feels like a true departure from the sound and style of Cirque’s previous soundtracks. The addition of a tuba and multiple musicians (dressed as alligators, no less) on the marimba in one number does create some excitingly fresh sounds and truly inventive moments, however.
For some of us, it doesn’t seem like that long ago that Cirque du Soleil was a new thing, but the fact is that “Luzia” is Cirque’s 38th production. The “strange little circus company” has now become the largest theatrical producer in the world. Cirque has gotten very good at what it does: The company shows people exactly what they came to see while making it all seem fresh and exciting. “Predictably surprising” is a niche, and Cirque’s biggest competitor is now seemingly itself.
Audience members who have seen previous shows will probably flip through their catalog of memories and call up a show that wowed them more than this year’s offering, but most who arrive at the tent this year, especially kids and others watching for the first time, will agree that in the end, “Luzia” conjures up some pretty special big-top magic.
Cirque du Soleil: “Luzia”
Through Nov. 19. 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 4:30 and 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 1:30 and 5 p.m. Sundays. Also, 4:30 p.m. Sept. 28. Note: The show is dark on Mondays and some Tuesdays. Check website for complete schedule of performances. $35-$170. VIP experience tickets, which include a reception with open bar with food, start at $245. Atlantic Station (big-top tent), 241 20th St., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia.
Bottom line: With Mexico-inspired imagery and new water effects, Cirque serves up its brand of circus magic.