THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

NO CAPTION

Review: Amaluna | Cirque du Soleil | Grand Chapiteau at Lone Star Park


A Midsummer Night's Circus

Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna, now playing in Grand Prairie, borrows from Shakespeare for its sumptious visuals and awe-inspiring feats.



published Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Photo: Martin Girard
Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna

 

 

Grand Prairie — Take a variety of world-class acrobatics. Blend with the storm and epic otherworldliness from The Tempest and mix with the magical creatures and kingdoms of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Add names that echo Shakespeare — Romeo and Prospera — and the author’s fondness for torturing young lovers who just want to get it on. Season with Greco-Roman mythology.

Voila! You have Amaluna, the latest from Cirque du Soleil, playing at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie through March 3. Rather than the tired plot of pristine-good versus cartoonish-evil, it's an oh-so-human tale of parties torn by clashing agendas. It would make the Bard proud.

But Amaluna boasts a contemporary twist. An all-woman band pounds out a rock soundtrack. Strong female leads, goddesses, and Amazon-types make up 70 percent of the cast. It’s a girl-power show.

Amaluna kicks off fast, feminine and full of promise. Three blue and green-adorned Valkyries with wild blonde dreadlocks flinging about them soar at jet speed on aerial trapeze while female musicians strut on stage.

On the forested island of Amaluna, a matriarchal society lives harmoniously with the Moon lead by Queen Prospera. Isolated in a remote locale, teen daughter Miranda and her emerging hormones are all (barely) dressed up with nowhere to go. (She's not on the lesbian-bi spectrum it seems.) Mom can't let go of her baby girl, even though she conjured the storm that brought a bunch of hunky young men and their leader Romeo (yep, that’s his name) to the island.

Miranda’s childhood pet Cali — described as “half lizard, half human, all jealousy” — is displeased at the competition. Cali has the primal do-me appeal of the aquatic creature from in The Shape Of Water, a large part of which is his massive lizard tail a few yards long. It’s very, er, frisky thanks to some nifty hydraulics.

Amaluna’s females are thrilled at the male influx. A sonic-speed uneven-bars act includes four of them doing numerous backward sole circles at once. Some bars are so low acrobats must skim just above the floor — dangerous and difficult.

The buff boys respond with a teeterboard routine that is gravity-defying exuberance incarnate. Bodies bounce two-stories high off narrow boards and cascade through skateboard-style aerial twists, spins, and loops.

 

Photo: Martin Girard
Cirque du Soleil\'s Amaluna

Aquatic Amour

Back at the royal dating drama, the Moon Goddess — decked out in white tulle, beaded lace and 6,500 Swarovski crystals — embodies serene elegance in an aerial hoop routine. She floats over the scenery centerpiece: a shimmering opal-esque water bowl more than five feet tall and seven feet in diameter, set in a swirling metal stand and filled with 5,500 pounds of water.

Now blessed with the goddess’ gift of womanly wiles, Miranda joins her on the hoop and then dives into the bowl. She simultaneously enters the water and curves with no time for corrections — a leap-dive of faith. No wonder a contortionist is cast for the role. Miranda emerges from the water in her white bikini like Ursula Andress from Dr. No.

As if to say, “Look what a young woman's body can do,” Miranda performs a more-than-sensual hand-balancing pretzel act poised on the water bowl rim. Spying from nearby, the aroused and impressed Romeo leaps in for some serious smooching. Meanwhile, Cali seethes.

The hormonal cat now out of the bag, Queen Prospera allows the lovers’ courtship to continue. But first a lesson from the Balance Goddess who painstakingly builds a huge floating hand-held mobile of curved sticks. The audience barely breathes during its exquisite construction. 

 

Finding the Finish

The shift from high-energy intensity to jaw-dropped silence is so profound that Amaluna struggles to get its groove back. Visually trippy black and silver dancers merge as one to create an undulating thousand-arm goddess. Yet Miranda's kidnapping to the underworld comes as anticlimactic.

The jealous Cali torments the distraught Romeo with a high-powered juggling act featuring provocative gyrations. Evidently, one can’t juggle and operate a hydraulic tail at once, so it gets casts aside. Women nearby “awww” disappointedly and so do I. The fabulous juggling act — including intricate contact juggling along the entire torso and head, and juggling using his feet and balls that descend from the sky — nearly sets fire to the show again.

In what may be the world’s tallest pole dance, Romeo breaks away and scampers three-stories up to freedom. He maneuvers up and down, pose by impressive pose, with astounding muscle strength. It finishes with a stunning face-first drop to within inches of the floor. Yet it’s so staid you have to wonder what Miranda sees in him compared to Cali’s thrilling id.   

A clichéd but endearing clown interlude deflates the show’s struggling energy. Some fights and flame sticks ensue. In a classic banquine, acrobats bounce and fly through the air while flipping and twirling. The young lovers reunite with all the romantic passion of 10-year-olds. Amaluna residents stride about in fabulous costumes to one last round of Prospera’s endless vocal emoting as a cerulean blue gossamer fabric floats and undulates in the air.

Audience members applaud and depart, dazzled and satisfied by the event's visuals and performer skills. Quite a few audience women (and probably a few men) go home primed for dreams of being the one to heal Cali’s broken heart and get that tail back on him again. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
A Midsummer Night's Circus
Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna, now playing in Grand Prairie, borrows from Shakespeare for its sumptious visuals and awe-inspiring feats.
by Amy Martin

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Behind Closed Doors Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit