The sound of a plane is fading away as a parachutist is free falling towards a land of memories. He lands in a field of cempasuchil flowers (yellow marigolds) surrounding a gigantic metallic key. As he turns the key by curiosity, the traveler gets taken away on a magical journey through time and place, somewhere between dreams and reality.rder.
As the morning sun rises, a woman and a metallic horse run together to awake this imaginary Mexico where the journey of the traveler will take place. The running woman spreads her “butterfly wings” in a tribute to the annual migratory journey of the monarch butterfly from southern Canada to central Mexico.
Hoop diving on treadmills
This tableau combines hoop diving with two giant treadmills in a soaring tribute to agility and speed. Seven acrobats wearing hummingbird costume, complete with wings and a long beak, jump through hoops a mere 75 centimeters (less than 30 inches) in diameter. Performing the feat on two treadmills makes the challenge even more daunting. The acrobats leap through the hoops sometimes feet first, sometimes backwards, sometimes bent in half. Some even leapfrog over their partners in order to jump through the rings.
In a nod to the golden age of Mexican cinema, this hand-to-hand act unfolds in a smoky dance hall reminiscent of Salon Mexico. Three porters proficient in the art of “flinging acrobats in the air” hurl a flyer above their heads where she performs intricate flips. Sometimes the porters hold her by the hands and feet, turning her into a human skipping rope.
Cyr wheel and trapeze
With cacti silhouetted against the setting sun, two young women dance on stage in large majestic hoops as in a dream. Rolling among the quiotes (Agave plants), they are soon joined by a trapeze artist who performs a series of original figures, sometimes hanging only by one heel. The performance culminates in the rain.
After riding his bicycle through the mountains in direction of the beach, the traveler stops to drink water out of his canteen…which is unfortunately empty. He finds an abandoned beach ball which allows him to break the fourth wall and engage in a competitive ball match with the audience.
A lifeguard struts about on a buoy among the waves in a tribute this time to Mexican cinema of the 1920s. He gradually builds two rows of flexible canes on top of his buoy. Under the command of an overzealous film director, the artist performs a series of figures, sometimes balancing on one hand, sometimes doing push-ups, sometimes holding an iron cross position, all the while flaunting his great physical strength. He builds his tottering structure to an impressive 6 meters (close to 20 feet) above the stage.
This youthful act pays tribute to the modern ritual sport of football, highly celebrated in Mexico. A man and a woman try to outdo each other by deftly manipulating a ball with their feet and head. They make the ball bounce, roll and spin using their knees, feet, soles and the back of their neck. When it starts to rain, time seems to stand still as the artists carry on, impervious to the downpour.
Clown rain and percussions parade
The traveler, still thirsty, tries to rehydrate with the providential rain water. Little did he know that rain would be very difficult to tame in this imaginary Mexico. Two-dimensional images created from water droplets and blank spaces start falling from the sky before a parade of percussionists and singers, reminiscent of the Day of the Dead celebrations, take over the stage.
Masts & poles
In a dreamlike setting that recalls experiments with peyote (a plant with hallucinogenic properties), acrobats climb up and down vertical poles and criss-cross in the air while leaping from one pole to the other.
In a nod to the very popular Mexican sport of professional wrestling called lucha libre (or ‘free fight’), an artist wearing a luchador mask and costume climbs onto a swing. Under his own power he makes the apparatus swing higher and higher until he reaches the tipping point and the swing makes a full turn.
An artist representing a demigod of rain emerges from the pristine waters of a cenote recalling the naturally occurring sinkholes the Mayan believed were gateways to the afterlife. He performs a graceful aerial straps act, his hair whipping the surface of the water as he rotates on the straps in a circle just above the water. The artist interacts with a puppet resembling a life-size jaguar, an animal that has become a mythological figure of Mexican culture. The artist manages to gain the big cat’s trust in this tableau brimming with lyricism.
In a tribute to the art of speed juggling popular in Mexico, an artist manages to juggle seven pins at breakneck speeds. The pins whirl so fast they become a metallic blur just like the propellers of an airplane. The juggler engages in a dialogue with the marimba, a musical instrument typical of the Veracruz region in Eastern Mexico.
An artist enveloped in a mystical aura amid glowing candles puts his body in knots with astounding ease and flexibility. He twists his body in unimaginable positions, and even manages to touch the back of his head with his pelvis!
Clown scuba diving
The traveler takes a dive to explore the underwater world, which first looks peaceful until he disturbs three cacti relaxing on the ocean floor.
Swing to swing
Under a luminous red moon, nine artists perform a stunning Russian swing act. For the first time at Cirque du Soleil, the two swings are mounted on a turntable so that the audience can enjoy the performance from all angles. The pushers demonstrate impeccable timing by flinging their partners up to 10 meters (33 feet) in the air.
All the characters the traveler has met through his journey gather together for a festive celebration around a large dining table. They each wear a different costume incorporating the traditional Otomi embroidery patterns, giving a sense of unity and community to this final scene.