This isn’t Avalon, but it’s another world ruled by Goddesses and full of magic. It’s Amaluna, the latest hit in Cirque Du Soleil’s sachet of whimsical wonders, borrows a bit from Shakespeare’s Tempest and mother earth myths in a wonderous show that shouldn’t be missed.
The story begins with Queen Prospera, played by Julie McInnes, performing a ritual for her daughter, Miranda’s, played by Iuliia Mykhailov, coming-of-age ceremony. Prospera conjures a storm that causes a wayward ship of men to crash upon the shores of the magical island. One of the passengers is Prince Romeo, played by Evgeny Kurkin, who Miranda falls in love with, just as Romeo’s manservant the comical Jeeves and Miranda’s childhood nurse Deede who become smitten with each other and create their own love nest in the forest.
Unfortunately, for Miranda and Romeo the path to love is wrought with tests, partially caused by Miranda’s pet Cali (Viktor Kee), who is half lizard and half man and wants Miranda for himself, and the rites of passage that honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance.
Miranda finds herself and her love as she searches through the forest and leads the audience through a spectacular visual display of acrobatics. Goddesses bewitch the audience with an enchanting dance, balancing acts and swing through the air. Creatures from the forest present a spectacle of gymnastics that is Cirque Du Soleil.
The sold out show attracted 2,500 spectators who were enraptured by Cirque Du Soleil’s fantastic acrobatics and are ensnared in a world of women for the first time in the circus company’s nearly 20-year history. I was enthralled by the rockin’ chicks with their guitars, drums, vocals and other instruments. They simply looked hot dominating the stage and providing an exciting guttural soundtrack throughout the show. It was the Montreal, Canada-based circuses’ goal when they picked theater maven Diane Paulus to direct the show enticing the audience to “Escape to an island where beauty and women power are unleashed!”
Unleashed women are, but not in the warrior woman Amazon way, but more like harking back to the isle of Avalon with Morgan Le Fay and the Lady of the Lake. It is powerful as the rockin’ chicks strumming their guitars, beating their drums, artfully plucking the cello and violin and the sound of women’s voices in song as they transition between rituals and the cycle of the moons.
Amaluna derives its name from fusing together ama, which means female warriors, such as the Amazons, in some myths and means mother in many languages and luna, which means moon.
The show stoppers though are the awe inspiring feats of the body when Miranda contorts her body in a balancing act above a bowl of water and the breathless moments when the Balance Goddess carefully constructs a mobile out of 13 palm leaf ribs.
I barely noticed that slightly more than two hours passed I was so entertained and awestruck by the artistry, athleticism and costumes awash in the soft glow of moonlight and the mystical feast wrapped in shades of rich blues and purples.
To feast your eyes on Amaluna, it is now showing in San Francisco, Calif. through Jan. 12, 2014 at AT&T Park. Shows are Tuesdays and Wednesdays 8 p.m., Thursday – Saturday 4:30 and 8 p.m., and Sundays 1 and 4:30 p.m.
The show moves to San Jose, Calf. opening Jan. 22 through Mar. 2, 2014 at the Taylor Street Bridge – E Lot. Wednesdays 7:30 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays 8 p.m., Saturdays 4:30 and 8 p.m., and Sundays 1 and 4:30 p.m., before it heads east to New York, N.Y. and Boston, Mass. Tickets are $50 – $140.
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