From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Cirque is back in town with Amaluna!

Last fall brought us the amazing Odysseo production from Cavalia and anyone who saw that show will agree it left us waiting for more. Well, Cirque du Soleil has arrived with their blue and yellow tents and have been busy getting their temporary village all set up here at the harbor getting geared up for Amaluna – Cirque du Soleil’s 32nd production that premiered to the world in Montreal in April 2012.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Cirque du Soleil a little background info is provided here. Cirque arose from very humble beginnings with a group of 20 street performers in 1984. Based in Quebec, Canada it is an organization that has been providing high-quality artistic entertainment around the globe for 30 years. They celebrate their 30th Anniversary this year. The company has over 4,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists, from over 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought delight to more than 100 million spectators, in more than 300 cities in over 40 countries. There are several Cirque productions that run nightly in Las Vegas and other resort communities here in the USA. I am hoping that maybe he new MGM Grand that is coming to the Harbor will be home to one as well.

Speaking of the MGM, you may have noticed that the aforementioned tents aren’t located on the Plateau this time. Due to preliminary construction for said hotel and casino on the Plateau, the Cirque du Soleil tents are erected in the same space that housed the ICE production for the Gaylord Hotel’s Holidays on the Potomac promotion two years ago. This means that the tents are in the heart of the harbor across the street from the Gaylord satellite parking. There will be lots of signage directing you to parking and you will most certainly be able to see the tents so getting there shouldn’t be a problem.

Having the production right here in the harbor makes for a nice change from the Plateau location in that you can come early, park and take in dinner and cocktails at any of the great places to eat within a block or two of the production! I can see this making for a great night out all the way around.

No one describes a show better than their promoters so I asked my friend Aba to send me some information about the production. I will add that if you are familiar with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Amaluna is loosely based on that story. I was in a production of Tempest while I was in college so I am really looking forward to seeing how “cool” my character is portrayed by these talented people.

In their words:

“Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next.

In the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, triggering an epic, emotional story of love between Prospera’s daughter and a brave young suitor. But theirs is a love that will be put to the test. The couple must face numerous demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony.

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. Amaluna is also the name of the mysterious island where this magical story unfolds.

For the first time in Cirque du Soleil’s history, Amaluna features a cast that comprises 70% women, with a 100% female band. “Amaluna is a tribute to the work and voice of women”, explains Director of Creation Fernand Rainville. “The show is a reflection on balance from a women’s perspective”, he adds. Director Diane Paulus, winner of a 2013 Tony Award (Pippin) says: “I didn’t want to build a ‘women’s agenda’ show. I wanted to create a show with women at the center of it, something that had a hidden story that featured women as the heroines.” Paulus drew from a series of classical influences when creating the concept of the show; including tales from Greek and Norse mythology, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Shakespeare’s The Tempest.”


The show opens on July 31st and runs through mid-September (shows are sometimes held over if the response merits). Ticket information and purchase at

Written by: Lani Gering

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