An island in the sun

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Cirque Du Soleil will bring its inventive acrobatics, stirring stories and stunning stagecraft to Denver with “Amaluna,” the story of a mysterious island and its inhabitants.

Not only does “Amaluna” feature all the artistry Cirque has become famous the world over for, but marks the first time a show had a cast of 70 percent women, and an all-female group of musicians.

The show will be under the blue and yellow Big Top on Pepsi Center grounds, 100 Chopper Circle, July 18 through Aug. 25. Ticket costs range from $40 to $130.

Amaluna is a fusion of the words ama, which refers to “mother” in many languages, and luna, which means “moon,” a symbol of femininity that evokes both the mother-daughter relationship and the idea of goddess and protector of the planet.

Show Director Diane Paulus said that “Amaluna is less about feminism and more about reconnecting to our world in a different way.”

Amaluna is also the name of the island ruled by goddesses and guided by moon cycles.

The queen, Prospera, is celebrating the all-important coming of age birthday of her daughter, Miranda, when a storm Prospera caused leads to a group of young men landing on the island.

One of the men, Romeo, and Miranda fall in love, but they must face all manner of challenges on the island before they can be together.

As the story progresses, different acrobatics are used to convey emotion, action, and plot. These range from the teeterboard to juggling and Chinese Pole to uneven bars.

Amara Defilippo plays one of the Amazons who protect the island from outsiders, and performs a routine on the uneven bars.

“This is my first Cirque show — I do artistic gymnastics, and I saw a Cirque show when I was 13, and wanted to be a part of it,” she said.

Defilippo noted that not only is the first Cirque show to feature as many women as it does, but it’s the first time the uneven bars have been used in a performance.

“Amaluna” really is in many ways like a traveling circus, which takes eight days to set up, and three to deconstruct.

A total of 65 trucks transport close to 2,000 tons of equipment for the show.

All 120 of the cast and crew represent a total of 17 countries, including Australia, Belgium, China, Russia, Spain and the United States.

The set has many features, including an island forest with trees that reach up to the sky.

There are 174 branches in 534 sections adding up to 1.05 miles.

While there certainly is a lot to look at during the performance, the story is the key that really drives everything forward.

“It’s the story of a young girl coming of age,” Defilippo said. “This is a show that won’t disappoint.”

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