HARTFORD — If you have traveled on near the I-84 and I-91 merger in Hartford lately you may have noticed a that a large, whimsical, white canvas tent has sprung up in the area of Market Street. Looking a bit like it belongs in a Moroccan souk, the tent, with its multiple spires, is the home of “Luzia,” Cirque du Soleil’s take on a “Waking Dream of Mexico.”
According to Cirque, Luzia premiered in 2016. The show deftly and seamlessly takes you through a trip to a dreamlike Mexican panorama, using music, light, rain, and awe-inspiring acrobatics.
The show begins with a man in traditional Mexican clothing playing classical Spanish guitar at the edge of the circular stage, while in the background, a parachutist freefalls toward a field of marigolds, from a height of perhaps 50 feet at the apex of the circus tent. When the parachutist lands, he discovers he is in another dimension, a sort of twilight zone between dreams and reality. He finds a giant metallic key and is swept away by the events that follow.
And what follows is nothing short of magical. Against the backdrop of a huge sun disc, the parachutist is first met by a “butterfly,” who runs with a full-size silver horse. Performers dressed as birds jump through hoops on the revolving stage, flying with greater and greater complexity and speed. And then a waterfall appears, falling from the top of the tent. Do the acrobats stop? No. They not only perform with the waterfall as a backdrop, but perform in it, kicking up the danger level.
I can’t reveal the entire show ̶ there are strong men, singers, musicians, balancing acts, life-size puppets (watch for the cactus puppets, they are hilarious), a contortionist, a juggler, high-flyers and trapeze artists, and the parachutist, who interacts with the audience, keeping it in stitches with his antics. The beautiful backdrops keep changing, through desert, jungle, undersea, and at the beach, and become more and more complex and colorful. You will be amazed at what Cirque does with the waterfall too ̶ it’s not just a sheet of water.
Cirque du Soleil’s “Luzia” plays for a limited engagement through July 21. Tickets are $40 and up. For more information and tickets, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia. To watch a preview video of LUZIA, visit www.cirk.me/LUZIA_Preview.