Upscale Living Magazine Goes Behind the Scenes with Cirque du Soleil Amaluna
Once again, Cirque du Soleil takes Dallas by storm with its magnificent production of Amaluna. On January 20th, Upscale Living Magazine was invited to experience a behind the scenes peek at rehearsals, backstage training and a visit to the costume area, which houses more than 1,000 costumes pieces.
Written and directed by Diane Paulus, Amaluna invites audiences to a mysterious island of Goddesses guided by the cycles of the moon. This mystical journey of femininity, renovation and rebirth introduces the character Prospera. She is the queen of the Goddesses and directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony passing on values that have been handed down from one generation to the next.
The word Amaluna is the combination of 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.
Amaluna has twelve acts and five main characters including Prospera: Miranda’s mother. Miranda: a young girl on the brink of womanhood. Romeo: Miranda’s love interest. Cali: half-lizard, half-human who is in love with Miranda and finally the Moon Goddess: who uses her powers to help and sometimes hinder the young lovers’ journey to happiness.
No Cirque du Soleil production would be complete without the incredible costumes and costume designer, Mérédith Caron brings Amaluna’s group of eclectic characters to life through the magic and creativity of her creations.
Since its inception, Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 180 million spectators in more than 450 cities in over sixty countries on six continents. Now until March 3, 2019, Dallas once again has an opportunity to experience the magic, imagination, and artistry of truly one of the greatest shows on Earth.
For tickets or more information, visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna.
Interview with Sabrina Aganier
How long have you been with Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna?
It is ten years this year that I do this particular number with the aerial hoop. I have been with other productions as well but always in aerial hoop and contortion.
How did you get your start as an aerial artist and contortionist?
I actually started pretty late to do circus because I did not realize that I was a contortionist. The flexibility in my body was really normal and natural for me, so I had no idea that I could make a living from this or that it was a talent. I went to the National Circus School of Montreal and I graduated in 2009 in aerial hoop but of course, my training never stops!
Given Cirque Du Soleil’s amazing reputation, was working with them something you always aspired to?
To be with Cirque du Soleil was a dream and something that just existed in my head and not real. I thought it was not even possible for me. I didn’t see it as a career at the beginning and then I was asked to be a part of the company as a contortionist and had to really make a serious decision as to if I wanted to do this the rest of my life. It’s a decision I never regretted because I love it!
Sabrina Aganier, The Moon Goddess
What does your training consist of?
My training is similar to a gymnast. I warm up, do a lot of cardio and core just to keep in shape all the time. I warm up for an hour before each show by stretching followed by a small cooldown to thank my body for the work.
Before Amaluna, what tour did you work on?
I was with Séptimo Día. It was a show that only toured in Latin America and an homage to Argentinian Band, Soda Stereo. Before that, I was working on JOYÀ, a resident show in Riviera Maya, Mexico as well as other events too.
Where did the Amaluna tour begin and how many cities does it go to?
The tour always starts in Montreal and we do about 40 different cities.
Tell us about your role in this production?
I am representing the moon goddess. She is one of the main characters and one of several goddesses who pass along their strength and knowledge to Miranda.
How much do you think acting plays just as an important role in your portrayal of the moon goddess?
I am so grateful for this character and really feel it, so I hope the audience can as well. Acting for me plays a huge part in making the role authentic. We are creating our own little universe, and inside my body, I actually feel as if I become the character.
In Amaluna, does your character have a number with another cast member or are you only a solo artist?
I have a duo/performance with Miranda only. Amaluna is a story about the coming of age of Miranda and in my role as a goddess, I am passing on my knowledge to her.
How many artists are in this production?
We have 48 artists from 15 different countries, so you will hear a lot of different languages. We are together all the time. One big family! We share birthdays, holidays, happy times, sad times.
What will you do on your first day off in Dallas?
| Sabrina Aganier: Photo Courtesy of Yannick Déry
| Photography Courtesy of Jonathan Zizzo