Cirque du Soleil's Viva ELVIS Lights Up Las Vegas
What do you get when you mix acrobats, dancers and a little “Jailhouse Rock”? Cirque du Soleil’s newest hit, Viva ELVIS. A tribute to the life and legacy of the king of rock and roll, Viva ELVIS features the singer’s
greatest hits. And the show was choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo. The world premiere was last week, and DS caught up with 21-year-old dancer Leah Moyer to talk about what it’s like to be part of Cirque’s newest Vegas show.
Dance Spirit: What was your Viva Elvis audition like?
It was a cattle call at Millennium Dance Complex in L.A., and it was the most fun I’ve ever had at an audition. First we had to show our ballet technique, and then we did a short contemporary combo where we had to pretend to be in a box–crazy! But, my favorite part was when they had us swing dance. It was like a big party.
DS: What were the rehearsals like?
: Difficult, but so much fun, especially once we were able to see where the show was going. We changed everything so many times–we had 25 different versions of one number! At times I wondered if I’d ever reach the light at the end of the tunnel. But now that we can see the audiences’ faces and how much they love it, it makes it all worth it.
DS: What was it like working with Tabitha and Napoleon?
It was a dream! I love seeing their passion and how well they work together. They don’t waste time, but it’s always so much fun and it’s never too cutthroat. They choreograph in a way that makes me want to work harder to give them what they want.
DS: What role do you play in the show?
We all have different roles in every piece. In “Bossa Nova” I get to play a party girl looking for some fun in a club. At least half of the number is improv, which is great because I get to play with the audience and change it up every night.
DS: How does it feel to be dancing in a show that honors Elvis Presley?
It’s overwhelming. When I step back and realize it’s for him–a man so well respected by millions of people–it’s really humbling. When the cast went to Graceland, I was introduced to his world and his fans’ world. I don’t have to do much acting now because I’ve become such a genuine fan of Elvis.
Leah Moyer with André Kasten costumed for the “Bossa Nova” number in Viva ELVIS.
Photo by Tomas Muscionico
Costumes by Stefano Canulli