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Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna 2013 Review

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Cirque du Soleil is one of the most mind blowing forms of human expression in one of the most beautifully profound human ways. Those chosen for the cast are masters of their physical selves who come together to put on a perfectly calculated performance. There’s really nothing else like it in the world, and each cast member greatly deserves to be there.

Amaluna was my second Cirque show, having seen Totem in San Jose in spring of 2011. Let me just say, two years was way too long in between shows so, if you can, definitely attend one of their many touring acts whenever they are in your area. And absolutely check out Cirque du Soleil resident performance in Las Vegas which I hear are the most spectacular of all. Now, enough of why Cirque is a must-see in general and on to why Amaluna deserves its own special praise.

Amaluna is a female-focused show with a major feminine theme at play. According to the official Cirque du Soleil website, Amaluna, meaning mother moon, “invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by cycles of the moon.” Amaluna features a cast that is about 70% female and 30% male – a reverse of the typical percentage breakdown of a Cirque show – as well as a female director, Diane Paulus. This is a direct shout-out to the wonder of womanhood and the spiritual beauty within all women of the world. For those that don’t see the goddesses inside the females around them, the cast of Amaluna will open their eyes (and possibly a third) through their acrobatics, instruments, dances, vocals and acting. Needless to say, if the metaphors go over their heads, the raw displays of talent will surely smack them in the face.

Now, I don’t mean to overlook the beautiful and talented men amongst Amaluna’s women both behind the scenes and on the stage who complete the show. In fact, the story is driven by the romantic affair between a young man and woman. Miranda, daughter of moon goddess Prospera, finds Romeo who is washed ashore along with a cohort of men and the two strike a complicated affair. The young love is tested by the trials of Miranda’s coming of age and her jealous pet Cali (a juggling lizard) who refuses to give her up. They battle both internal and external forces, learning to understand themselves before they can know one another.

The sensual undertones are tasteful and sweet, the chaotic emotions of young romance are symbolized through ballet and rock, the delicate frailty of innocence is illustrated through balancing acts, and invigorating sexuality is sensed as actors and actresses dive into a giant bowl of water onstage. And of course all of this is supplemented by the whimsical romance of an older couple who fall in love between acts, providing comic relief (with a bit of audience interaction).

I couldn’t possibly go into every detail about the show without overwhelming myself or doing an injustice to its majesty. Cirque du Soleil Amaluna is a wonderful experience and a must-see for individuals, couples, families, theater buffs, gym junkies, hipsters, cat ladies, grandmas and grandpas, and everyone else. It is a spectacle suitable for anyone with a message that resonates outside of the tent and inside of the hearts of those of us fortunate enough to witness it.

-Edward Heinrich