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Luzia

LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light quenches the spirit and rain soothes the soul.

Freely inspired by Mexico, LUZIA is a poetic and acrobatic ode to the rich, vibrant culture of a country whose wealth stems from an extraordinary mix of influences and creative collisions – a land that inspires awe with its breathtaking landscapes and architectural wonders, buoyed by the indomitable spirit of its people.

The tableaux of LUZIA weave an intricate, contemporary mosaic that awakens your senses and transports you to a place suspended between dreams and reality.

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Luzia - Costumes

When Costume Designer Giovanna Buzzi sat down with the co-authors of LUZIA to imagine the costumes, they decided to steer clear of the folkloric aspects of Mexico and Mexican culture and to avoid potential clichés, especially when it comes to the color palette.

Assigning specific colors to each scene – It is natural to associate Mexico with a mosaic of bright colors. But in order to avoid the pitfalls of turning the stage into a potpourri of colors, the creators chose to build a story in which each scene would have its own distinct color or combination of colors, like the subtle strokes of an artist’s paintbrush. In the Adagio tableau, for instance, a flying woman dons a beautiful pink dress in an otherwise monochromatic environment, while the artists in the Cyr Wheel/Trapeze tableau are clad in yellow hues. The nods to Mexican hues are deliberately subtle. Overall, the show proves to be highly colorful, but iconic colors such as cobalt blue and Mexican pink are not found in their usual contexts.

A noble menagerie – Animals play a prominent role in Mexican lore and mythology, a tradition that carries over into daily life. In LUZIA’s imaginary Mexico, it is no big deal to come across a man with the head of an armadillo, swordfish or iguana, or a crocodile playing the Marimba, or a woman with a hummingbird’s head and wings. At the top of the show, a group of hoop divers are dressed as a flock of colorful hummingbirds. Later on, the Adagio scene unfolds in a strange bar in which a female character is wrapped in an iguana shawl, an ode to the Mexican surrealist movement.

Technology in the service of art – Some of LUZIA’s striking costumes are the result of innovative research and development. A case in point is the dress that “magically” turns from white to red. In order to turn this vision into reality, the people at C:LAB (the creative laboratory of Cirque du Soleil) came up with a clever solution: the dress was fitted with 98 white, individually programmed flowers, each one equipped with a small motor. When the flowers open their petals, they reveal their red interior, thus triggering the metamorphosis. The dress weighs a whopping 9 kg!

Costume close-ups

  • Tradition and modernity collide in the costumes of LUZIA, which mix contemporary patterns, techniques and designs with folkloric inspirations.
  • The high level of detail in the LUZIA costumes, such as the intricate patterns in the Singer’s shawl, pays tribute to the artistry of traditional Mexican craftspeople.
  • Because some artists perform in the water, new types of soles had to be designed for shoes, while a system to dry costumes between shows had to be developed.
  • The Running Woman spreads her “butterfly wings” in an tribute to the annual migratory journey of the monarch butterfly from southern Canada to central Mexico for the winter. Each wing is 6 m long, is made of silk and requires 40 m of material.
  • The hoop divers are dressed as hummingbirds, complete with head, beak and wings. They are in costume when they leap through hoops a mere 75 cm in diameter!
  • The puppeteers and prop manipulators all wear Guayabera shirts – the traditional men’s wedding shirt in Mexico – instead of the usual black bodysuit.
  • Each performance requires 140 pairs of shoes.
  • The artisans in the costume workshop developed 6 crocodile heads, 1 iguana shawl, 1 cockroach, 1 grasshopper, 1 armadillo, 1 snake, 5 swordfish heads and 3 tuna heads. Some of the “body parts” are manipulated like puppets so that the creatures look alive.
  • In all, 1,115 different costume elements were created for LUZIA.