Make memories under the big top at Luzia by Cirque du Soleil

I had never taken my seven-year-old daughter to see a Cirque du Soleil show. With its multiple residencies in Vegas, I’ve always considered it more of an adult form of entertainment (I know, I know, Zumanity is different). But when we were walking around False Creek recently and saw the big top set up for the company's latest production, Luzia, my daughter asked me what it wasand I thought it may be time to let her experience the spectacle that is Cirque.

According to Cirque du Soleil, “Luzia takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. With a surrealistic series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, Luzia cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity."

While conceptually Luzia may sound a bit lofty for children, the show itself is not. Here’s what we loved as well as some insider tips on taking your littles to Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia, at Concord Place in Vancouver until December 29, 2019.


Let your child escape to a magical world

butterflyCirque du SoleilFrom the moment the stage lit up, so did my daughter’s face. Set in a fantastical and vibrant Mexican-inspired world, Luzia is truly a feast for the eyes (my daughter said it reminded her of the Disney movie, Coco). The wardrobe is stunning, and kids will be impressed by the larger-than-life animal costumesa horse, a jaguar and a butterfly, just to name a fewsome of which had up to three performers inside. Add to that the incredible music, which is performed live, and Luzia is guaranteed to transport you and your children to a magical place.

cirqueCirque du SoleilBut it’s the technical production of Luzia that really takes this big top over the top. The main stage rotates, allowing you to view acts from every angle. And then there’s the rain. Yes, the rain. Multiple scenes take place as rain pours from the ceiling of the tent, including one breathtaking display where various shapes appear in the water.


Watch your kid get wowed by death-defying acrobatics

contortionistCirque du SoleilMy daughter was in awe of the performers from start to finish as she gasped in amazement and fear (“Mama, I thought they were going to fall!”). Her jaw literally dropped as she kept turning to me to say, “Did you see that?” In her words: “They must have practiced their whole lives because all the tricks were perfect.” With trapeze acts, massive swings, juggling routines (with up to seven batons!), and a mind-blowing contortionist (my daughter was convinced he had no bones), there is no chance for your child to get bored during this performance.


It is indeed kid-friendly

clownCirque du SoleilMy daughter was probably the youngest child in the audience when we attended on a Friday evening, but that’s likely because we chose the 8:00 p.m. show. In hindsight, a weekend matinee would have been a better experience for her as she was tired when the show wrapped up after 10 p.m. But as far as the humour, she got it. She laughed at the clown with the rest of the crowd and caught all the visual jokes. And with the exception of a cactus with a suggestively protruding branch (which she didn’t even notice), there was nothing in the show that felt inappropriate or went over her head.


Mom logistics

swing actCirque du SoleilThe second we sat down my daughter started complaining that she couldn’t see. I asked a nearby usher if there were booster seats and was happy to discover that there are plenty. At the main entrance between the lobby and the arena, there are piles of them that you can grab for yourself. The booster fit perfectly on the seat and she had no trouble seeing after that.

After a bucket of very salty popcorn and a subsequent chugging of water, there was the issue of the bathroom. We managed to escape during a somewhat low-key part of the show following a spectacular swing act, but a heads up: the washrooms are outside. It’s not easy to squeeze into a portable toilet with a child, so the door stayed open (we were happy it wasn’t raining). That said, the facilities were clean and there are even sinks for hand washing.

In the end, Luzia is a great family night out, but a word of cautionif your kid is like mine, they may want to run away and join the circus after seeing this incredible performance.