Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Amaluna’: A masterpiece to be experienced

Aerial Hoop and Water bowl

“Amaluna” moves our planet to another universe and scans the surface of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It moves its artists on a fanciful, unforgettable journey that – at times – takes the breath away. Esteemed award-winning Broadway director Diane Paulus has been given the reins to create this glorious work of art. (Paulus also directed the brilliant “Porgy and Bess” production now playing in San Francisco and the Tony winning revival of “Pippin”.)
Peter Carl Faberge created beautiful bejeweled Easter eggs for the Czars and wealthy Russians in another era. His Faberge Easter eggs opened to reveal “surprises.” His work is priceless and some of us have only heard of – but never viewed or held any of – his creations. They are the ultimate in this form of art.
Well folks, get ready to experience that feeling of opening and seeing a priceless Faberge egg in all its exquisite, serendipitous glory because the Cirque Du Soleil “Amaluna” has arrived. Simply enter the blue and gold chapiteau and be ready to be mesmerized.
There is a 5.5-foot-tall waterbowl – a little more than 7-feet in diameter and weighs 5,500 pounds when filled with water – that artists dive into to further the story being told. There is a goddess who gracefully creates a huge mobile of palm tree ribs she manipulates with her feet to hands, applying all her sensitive control to a seldom seen Sanddorbalance turn. There is an unbelievable juggler who catches balls thrown at him from the ceiling of the tent that, by the way, is the entrance and exit point for most of the artists who fling themselves or float down for their performance. All this and more with the usual magnificent costumes and masks that at times defy the imagination.
I have experienced just about all Cirque Du Soleil presentations (I say experienced since you just don’t “see” Cirque Du Soleil, you “experience” it). I have come to the conclusion that “Amaluna” is really not only a theatrical presentation, but a work of art. The artists take a canvas for each performance and paint a seamless mural of delicious joy, glorious color and spectacular thrills that bombard the senses.
The contemporary, original score for Amaluna” is delivered by an all female orchestra and vocalists. (A first for Cirque in this area.) “Amaluna” doesn’t have the hoopla and tension of other productions – instead there is a sophisticated innocence within this presentation that simply makes you feel good to a point that you wonder if it’s legal.
Look for the familiar blue and gold Grand Chapiteau. This state-of-the-art, electrically self-sufficient, climate-controlled big top will comfortably hold 2,600 people with the intimacy of theatre in the round. Cirque Du Soleil originates and is based in Montreal, Canada. “Amaluna” premiered there April 12, 2012.
Picture a colorful stained glass window with streamers of elusive, glittering, colorful sunbeams shimmering through. This is Cirque Du Soleil’s “Amaluna.” Nothing you can grab on to, nothing you can put into a treasure box. All you can do is imprint it on your mind and enjoy it over and over again by simply remembering. If you don’t go anywhere else this season, go to Cirque Du Soleil. I guarantee you will be glad you did.
Camille Bounds is the arts and entertainment editor for the Western Division of Sunrise Publications.
Where: AT&T Park San Francisco. Look for the blue and gold Big Top
Through: Jan. 12, 2014; Coming to San Jose January 22, 2014
Tickets: $55-$270 adults – special rates for seniors and students.
Details: (800) 450-1480 or visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.

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