A mind-bending evening of enchanting acrobatics
The women reign supreme in Cirque du Soleil Amaluna. Based on The Tempest by Shakespeare with aesthetics reminiscent of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Amaluna is an evening jam-packed with contortion, gymnastics, and suspense. I was invited to experience the show by Cirque du Soleil during its tour in Dallas and I asked my friends (and fellow theater junkies) Branden, Kenya, and Candy to join me. We had a side view of the show but there’s really not a bad seat in the thrust theater.
A whopping 70% of the cast is female in Amaluna, which is written and directed by the Tony award-winning Diane Paulus. Since the show is set on the island of Amaluna inhabited entirely by women until a boat full of men wash up on shore, I had major Wonder Woman flashbacks. Some reviews have knocked the storyline for being too vague and emotionally lacking but to be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting a storyline of any sort so I was pretty impressed. I was there to be wowed by physical feats and my entire group was blown away.
My favorite acts were both towards the end of act one. The moon goddess playfully swings from and bends around a hoop dangling high in the air with the ease that most of America orders their morning cappuccino. There were multiple times when she wasn’t even hanging on to anything, just balancing with an arm or toe.
Immediately following, the virginal Miranda performs a scantily-clad contortion act in and out of a goblet of water. She has such control over every muscle, folding herself up like a pretzel while balancing on a single hand placed precariously on the edge of the water feature. My friend Candy gasped the loudest during this bit, when she dove into the water in a fashion that looked like she could break her neck if done incorrectly.
Another show stopper started out to be a bit of a snooze. A raven-haired beauty slowly balances a couple of small sticks while doing some heavy yoga breathing. Doesn’t sound that exciting, right? Wrong. It soon becomes clear as she picks up stick after stick with her toes that she’s going for the entire pile. I can’t remember a time I was more stressed watching a show than watching her balancing an impossibly huge assembly of branches that to me, resembled a phoenix. She looks powerful as she completes the design, finally using the largest piece as a sort of totem pole. She ends the act by playfully removing the first, smallest stick, allowing the sculpture to flutter attractively to the ground dominos-style.
In addition to my favorite acts, there’s juggling, dancing, live rock music, a comical duo (careful, audience members! they might kiss you!), gymnasts who sail through the air, and aerialists who swing right out over the audience. It’s two hours or pure spectacle and I enjoyed the hell out of it.
Amaluna runs in Dallas through March 3, 2019. For more information or to find a show in a city near you, visit cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be a general resource. Any recommendations are based on personal opinion. A portion of this article may have been compensated but opinions are my own, always. I’m not a fan of negativity so if I don’t like something, I don’t write about it. I’m here to tell you about the best of the best!