ROLLINGOUT: Guitarist Angie Swan thrills audiences during Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Amaluna’
By Yvette Caslin
Amaluna expresses girl power with guitars and grace. Now showing under Cirque du Soleil’s iconic Blue and Yellow Big Top at Atlantic Station, the theatrical performance is true to the iconic and innovative brand. It’s magical and it’s awe-inspiring.
Amaluna, a fusion of the words ama, which refers to “mother” in many languages, and luna, which means “moon,” is a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon.
With a majority-female cast, Amaluna honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance. The show commences with a floating scarf establishing we’re no doubt in girls’ paradise.
“My favorite scene in Amaluna is the opening scene, the magic pageant when all the women of the island come together. You witness their individual strengths during the introduction to the audience, ” shares the all-female band’s guitarist Angie Swan, who has been playing this show since 2012.
Performing in royal purple, Swan, who grew up in the 80s, a fan of Prince’s Purple Rain and at one time in her 12-year professional career, has performed with the legend himself in addition to playing in will.i.am’s all-female band, with Macy Gray, Boney James, and a few other artists. She’s traveled all over the world, including South America and Europe.
“I grew up in a musical family. My father played the guitar and my mother is a lover of music. I grew up loving art, music and theater. And, my brother is a comedian,” says the Milwaukee native who has been shredding since age 12.
“What I love most about this show is its diversity. We have acrobats, aerialists and every show has a live band in it, except for Beatles show in Vegas. The music is pretty cool. It is rock, funk-based, electronic,” vaunts the lead guitarist whose electric riffs complement the acrobats’ flexibility, strength and grace.
What she finds the most challenging part about her job…
“The number of shows we perform. We do about six days a week and have eight to 10 shows a week. The shows are about two hours long. You have to condition your body to withstand that amount of performing. It requires focus.”
How does she stay on top of her game?
I am confident in myself and have peers of like minds. I believe you should always challenge yourself and look ahead to the next project.