5 Questions: Luzia’s Artistic Director, Gracie Valdez

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The Boston Premiere of LUZIA will take place under the Big Top at Suffolk Downs

5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –

In a series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA takes audiences on a surrealistic journey through a vibrant world filled with wonders, playfulness and striking artistry. Smoothly passing from an old movie set to the ocean to a smoky dance hall or an arid desert, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. Rich in awe-inspiring moments, LUZIA enchants by incorporating rain into acrobatic and artistic scenes – a first for a Cirque du Soleil touring production.

SD: Can you tell us what Luzia is about?

GV: We are so excited to come to Boston and be at Suffolk Downs. The show is really a journey. It’s a journey that we are going to take the audience through in an imaginary Mexico. There will be different representations of Mexican culture, mythology, and music.

SD: Water was introduced into this production.  How did that come about and are there any difficulties?

GV: Water in its self is its own character. We have had a little bit of experience with water in the past with other shows. In terms of how we bring new technologies into the company, we decided that we should take a rain curtain on the road and put acrobatics in the rain. Lots of research, development, and experimenting happened to make it work. When we finally got it to work, the results are quiet spectacular.  The water creates the images – it’s amazing!

SD: Where does an idea for a Cirque du Soleil show come from?

GV: The creations of our shows can take two years or longer from their initial inception. Let’s use Luzia as the example. The creator of Luzia wanted to pay tribute to his experiences of living in Mexico, so he wrote the story from the images that he had in his head. He then found a partnership with Cirque du Soleil. It is a meeting of minds and collaboration of great creative people and out of these meetings, we get to see the story come to life on the stage.

SD: How difficult is it to tell a story with no dialogue?

GV: I think that is a very age-old question. We are very lucky in the circus world because we have a different vocabulary to be able to continue to tell these stories. In traditional theatre, dance is non-verbal. Since our performances are thrown across the stage or swinging through the air, our performances are showing raw emotions that don’t need dialogue. There emotions show and extend to the audience.  

SD: What aspects of Mexican culture do you hope to give the audience?

GV: The story is the inspiration of Mexico. We didn’t want to go too literal with what we wanted the audience to see. It really is an homage to the writer’s experiences and how he perceived the Mexican world around him. There are references to cultural traditions, mythology, folklore, and music. One person’s view may not be another’s view. We want everyone to take away something different.   

The Boston Premiere of LUZIA will take place under the Big Top at Suffolk Downs.

For more information and to purchase tickets to Luiza, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia


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