For over thirty years, Canadian company Cirque du Soleil have been wowing audiences around the globe with their stunning acrobatics and modern take on the travelling circus.
Celebrating twenty years of performances at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall, Cirque du Soleil bring 2012’s Amaluna to the UK for the first time.
Based loosely on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the show takes place on a mysterious island inhabited by Goddesses. Prospera, their queen, causes an epic storm and in its wake a group of sailors wash up on the shore. Prospera’s daughter, the beguiling Miranda, falls for one of the young men and together they must battle the elements of the island in order to be together.
Structurally, the show is made up of two halves, each with multiple different acts representing the dangers the young lovers face. These included a lounge of lizards leaping through hoops and flipping themselves across the stage, the Amazons flipping and jumping on uneven bars, and the Chinese pole where Miranda’s lover would perform feats of strength upon a giant upright stick.
None of these words can accurately describe the sheer awe and majesty of what these exceptional performers could do with their bodies.
Possibly the most exciting act were the Valkyries, three acrobats who resembled dreadlocked blonde mermaids, flying high above the stage and out to the audience using aerial straps, contorting their bodies around fabric to keep themselves safe. Similarly, the Moon Goddess on her aerial hoop was just as confounding in her ability to hold on to a hoop by one hand or the crook of her leg high above the stage.
The show isn’t just about the acrobatic death-defying stunts.
The beautiful hall fell silent watching the Balance Goddess and her act of manipulation, balancing palm fronds of various sizes upon one another as the extend out over the stage beyond her reach. For what must have been a good ten minutes we sat in awe daring not to cough for fear of distracting the brilliant performer.
Special mention should also go to the juggling lizard Cali as well as Miranda’s nurse-slash-clown and her lover, the ship’s captain-slash-clown. And I can’t believe I’ve gotten this late into the review without mentioning Miranda’s stunning water bowl contortions – to say that I could see every single one of her ribs expand and contract with each breath does not do justice to what she was able to do.
The all-female band and their epic rock soundtrack deserves huge credit for being a big driving force holding the show together.
Cirque du Soleil have earned a reputation for delivering incredible shows and earning rave reviews and it is easy to see why. I’ve not seen them before and I wish I’d not left it this long. If you’ve not seen them before, or even if you have, I urge you to see them whilst you can at this stunning venue.
Performed on Wednesday 20 January 2016 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Have you seen Amaluna? Let us know below…