The big top is up and the players from Cirque du Soleil are ready for the Twin Cities premiere of "Amaluna," which gets underway at the Mall of America's north parking lot Thursday night.
The latest production from the world-renowned Canadian acrobatic troupe runs Sept. 26 through Oct. 20 in Bloomington.
Artistic director Mark Pawsey told BringMeTheNews in a recent interview that the big top is ideal for the production because of the intimacy it presents for the audience. The venue seats just over 2,500 people.
"If you go into a theater, sometimes there are only 1,800 seats, but some of the audience members can feel quite back if it’s a proscenium theater," Pawsey explained. "But with the big top, we present it like theater in the round, so no member of audience is that far away from the stage. Everybody has their own unique perspective.”
The fantastical production is set on a mysterious island that is governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon, where Queen Prospera directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony. It's a rite that honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance, marking the passing of insights and values from one generation to the next.
Fox 9 has video of rehearsals from the show and interviews with two of its performance artists.
The latest Cirque production is unique in that 70 percent of the performers in the 145-person cast are women. In addition, all of the musicians are female.
The cast hails from 17 countries, including China, Russia, Spain, Japan and the U.S.
KSTP-TV says there are 65 costume changes through the show. The station has a slideshow featuring some of show's wardrobe.
"Amaluna" is directed by Diane Paulus, who won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Direction in a Musical for "Pippin." Paulus told the Star Tribune that she spent two years scouting talent for the production.
See a behind-scenes-video of Paulus on the set of "Amaluna" below.
See the trailer for "Amaluna" below.