Costumes & Characters
"There will be red and pink,
cobalt blue, water falling as rain, tracing stars charted on the roof
of the big top, crocodiles playing the marimba, cardboard waves,
bathers covered in mirrors, men swallowed by fish, a parade of
percussion chasing away evil spirits; but most of all there will be
tenderness, charm, surprise, and, above all, beauty."
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 came to the color palette.
The result is a menagerie of textiles and forms that are pleasing to the eye as well
as being relevant.
Yet it's also natural to associate Mexico with a mosaic of bright colors.
In order to avoid the pitfalls of turning the costume 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.
Some of LUZIA’s striking costumes are the result of innovative research and
development. A case in point is the lead singer's dress that "magically" turns from
white to red in the interlude just before intermission. In order to make this vision
a 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 17 kilograms (37 pounds)
and requires it to be quickly lowered onto Majo before she steps on costume.
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.