Zumanity

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Zumanity
Company Cirque du Soleil
Genre Contemporary circus
Show type Resident show
Date of premiere September 20, 2003
Location New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Creative team
Writer and director Dominic Champagne
Writer and director René Richard Cyr
Creation director Andrew Watson
Creator and costume designer Thierry Mugler
Set designer Stéphane Roy
Composer and arranger Simon Carpentier
Choreographers Debra Brown,
Marguerite Derricks
Lighting designer Luc Lafortune
Sound designer Jonathan Deans
Clown act creator Cahal McCrystal
Projection designer Natacha Merritt
Makeup designer Nathalie Gagné
Acrobatic equipment and rigging designer Jacque Paquin
Prop designer Normand Blais
Artistic guide Guy Laliberté
Other information
Preceded by Varekai (2002)
Succeeded by (2004)
Official website

Zumanity is a resident cabaret-style show by Cirque du Soleil at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The production was unveiled on September 20, 2003.[1] It is the first "adult-themed" Cirque du Soleil show, billed as "the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil" or "another side of Cirque du Soleil". Created by René Richard Cyr and Dominic Champagne, Zumanity is a departure from the standard Cirque format. Intended to be for mature adult audiences only, this show is centered around erotic song, dance, and acrobatics.[2]

The inspiration to create Zumanity came from multiple sources. Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté had been offered the chance to create two new shows in Las Vegas, and wanted something completely new and original rather than multiple similar shows that would cannibalize off of each other's sales and audiences. Another reason was that the New York-New York Hotel and Casino wanted to make their entertainment appear more "trendy". The hotel liked the concept of a more adult Cirque du Soleil performance.[2]

Laliberté admits that the biggest reason to produce this show was the chance to create something with riskier subject matter. He was interested in the idea of creating a show that explored human sexuality, something that was at complete odds with the other, more family-oriented Cirque du Soleil shows. "Our previous shows have all been family-oriented and politically correct, which is great," Laliberté said, "but we're human beings, we won't hide it. We're a bunch of happy campers. We like to live new experiences. Zumanity deals with some of those experiences."[2]

Cast[edit]

A few of the characters who appear in Zumanity are listed below.[3][4]

  • Mistress of Sensuality, : Hostess ( formerly played by drag stars Joey Arias and Raven-O, now played by Christopher Kenney or Edie)
  • Queen of Wind: dancer (played by Marcela de la Vega Luna and sometimes by Agnes Roux)
  • Dick and Izzy: clowns (played by Nicky Dewhurst and Shannan Calcutt)
  • African Temptress: dancer (formerly played by Wassa Coulibaly, now played by Makeda Crayton)
  • Rose boy: dancer (formerly played by dancer Alex Castro, now played by William Hulett)
  • Dominatrix: dancer/whips expert (played by Jonel Earl)
  • Faun'
  • Molinier
  • Botero sisters: actors/clowns (played by Licemar and Luciene Medeiros)
  • Androgynous Cape: dancer (formerly played by Jacobo Espinosa, now played by Jordan McHenry)
  • Gigolo: actor/clown (played by Antonio Drija and sometimes by Brandon Pereyda)

Acts[edit]

The acts in Zumanity are a mélange of dance, sensuality, and acrobatic prowess.[5]

  • Water bowl (contortion): (performed by Bolormaa Zorigtkhuyag and Estefania Laurino)
  • Hoops: (performed by Julia Kolosova)
  • Hand to hand: ( performed by Valeriy Simonenko and Katerina Bazarova)
  • Dislocation: (performed by Arslan Gusengadzhiev)
  • Aerial straps: (performed by Louise Yorath)
  • Handbalancing: (performed by Dima Shine)
  • Aerial silks: (performed by Alan Jones Silva and Anna O’Keefe)
  • Aerial hoops: ( performed by Elena Gatilova)
  • Roue Cyr: (performed by Jonas Woolverton)
  • Dance on TV: (performed by Felix Cane)
  • Wind dance: (performed by Marcela de la Vega Luna)
  • African dance: (performed by Makeda Crayton)
  • Striptease: (performed by William Hulett)

Retired acts[edit]

Costumes[edit]

Zumanity float at the 2012 San Francisco Pride parade.

Thierry Mugler designed the costumes for Zumanity; he created the costumes to enhance the sensual atmosphere and heightened sexuality of the production. Many of the costumes are highly colorful, yet some are minimal to an exaggerated extreme. Fur, feathers, leather, lace, fishnet stockings, velvet dresses, tiny corsets, cone bras, and plastic accessories were primary materials utilized to create the costumes' provocative appeal. Jonel's costume, for example, is made of stretch vinyl and is airbrushed to create a semi-nude effect; her bright red wig is made of expanded foam. Faun has fur on his pants which is made from toothbrush bristles, human hair, and yak fur. Molinier's long velvet dress was created by using a stencil and net onto which black silicon was applied.[3]

Music[edit]

The album for Zumanity was released on March 22, 2005, under Cirque du Soleil's music label. Below is a list of the tracks as found on the CD release.[6] Music composed by Simon Carpentier

  1. Mio Bello Bello Amore (Lyrics and music by Simon Carpentier and Anna Liani) Vocals - Anna Liani
  2. Entree
  3. En Zum
  4. Wind
  5. Another Man
  6. First Taste
  7. Do It Again
  8. Water Bowl
  9. The Good Thing
  10. Tickle Tango
  11. Into Me
  12. Fugare
  13. Meditation
  14. Piece of Heaven
  15. Zum Astra
  16. Mangora En Zum
  17. Per Sempre
  18. Bello Amore
Further information: Cirque du Soleil discography

References[edit]

Coordinates: 36°06′07″N 115°10′29″W / 36.1020°N 115.1746°W / 36.1020; -115.1746

  1. ^ "Zumanity, Another Side of Cirque du Soleil, Celebrates its Second Anniversary". PRVegas. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  2. ^ a b c Babinski, Tony (2004). Cirque Du Soleil: 20 years under the sun. Harry N. Abrams Inc. ISBN 0-8109-4636-X. 
  3. ^ a b Clément, Ronald (2009). Cirque du Soleil 25 Years of Costumes (in CN, EN, FR, JP). Canada: Dépôt légal, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. pp. 74–79. ISBN 978-2-9803493-4-8. 
  4. ^ Cirque du Soleil (2008). Zumanity Souvenir Program. 
  5. ^ "Zumanity: Acts". Cirque du Soleil Press Release. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  6. ^ "Zumanity (Soundtrack)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-02-17.