Amaluna is an epic love story inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest with high-flying acts and magnificent imagery of the renowned Cirque du Soleil. This magical romance, inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest, takes you to a mysterious island where goddesses walk the land and the rhythm of life is ruled by the cycles of the moon. The daughter of Queen Prospera is undergoing the rituals of her coming-of-age ceremony when a group of young men, caught up in a storm, become stranded on the island. Prospera's daughter falls in love with one of the brave sailors, but the two lovers must overcome many trials and setbacks before finding peace together.
Jamie Reilly, Amaluna’s company manager helped bring this story to life with the assist of jugglers, aerial performers, unicyclists and dancers. She took some time to answer questions from Examiner readers:
Examiner: What is your theater background?
Jamie: I have been working for Cirque du Soleil for 12 years and have worked on various productions all over the world. Prior to Cirque, I worked in events. I led, coordinated and managed various events from weddings to conventions and more!
Examiner: What was the inspiration for Amaluna?
Jamie: Amaluna showcases women. We have a cast of 70% women, which includes an all-female band. Diane Paulus who directed Amaluna was inspired by the Tempest from Shakespeare as well as Greek mythology.
Examiner: How long is the Amaluna tour set to run nationally? Will it run in any other countries?
Jamie: Amaluna is Cirque du Soleil's most recent big top production (Cirque's 32nd production). We have been touring now for just a bit over a year, having recently completed our Canadian tour and have made our arrival into the United States. As Cirque does not reproduce its shows, Amaluna will have a long touring life. It will probably spend a few more years in the USA before continuing on to other continents. Our touring shows usually tour between 15 and 20 years.
Examiner: How long does it take to set the stage and tent at each location?
Jamie: The Amaluna village consists of 65 trucks. It will take us 7 days to set everything up and 2 ½ days to tear it down.
Examiner: Does each act have multiple artists in case someone is sick or injured?
Jamie: We do indeed have backups within the production. It is important to keep the same quality of shows as well as maintaining the artistic integrity of the show.
Examiner: What is the average career length of an artist in this physically demanding type of show?
Jamie: It really depends on the acrobatic discipline performed in the show. On Amaluna our age group for artists varies between 15 and 50 years old.
Examiner: How does Cirque recruit talent?
Jamie: There are various ways one can enter the Cirque du Soleil. We do have a team of scouts that travel the world to various events from the Olympics to Circus festivals to recruit talent. We also hold auditions in various key locations in the world. Also we do receive a lot of applications and videos from around the world.
Examiner: How many days does a performer spend on the road and at home?
Jamie: This can vary yearly depending on our tour plan, but we will tour between 40 - 48 weeks a year. We do send everyone home for a well-deserved break once a year.
Examiner: Do performers typically move from one Cirque show to another?
Jamie: It does happen. Cirque du Soleil currently has 19 shows running at the same time, which can offer many opportunities to artists and employees. From a touring environment to a permanent one, our new creations to more stable mature productions, we strive at keeping our talent as long as possible and having a place that suits everyone.
Examiner: What is your favorite part of working on this particular show?
Jamie: I love Amaluna! It is a beautiful and wonderful show, and I have a lot of pride in that. Being a woman at the helm of a production that showcases women, now that’s the cherry on the sundae!
You can experience the magic of Amaluna at the Grand Chapiteau at AT&T Park, Parking Lot A (74 Mission Rock Street San Francisco, CA 94158). Tickets are available for $75-$105 for regular seating with VIP and premium packages available. Upgraded packages include parking, beverages, premium seating and many more perks to help make your evening epic.