Naomi Zimmermann is an aerialist in Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA

Cirque du Soleil LUZIA
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA production is currently in Melbourne before touring around Australia. Naomi Zimmermann is an aerialist who performs in this show inspired by Mexico. We chat with her.

Cirque du Soleil LUZIA
Image: Adagio from LUZIA
Picture credit: Matt Beard
Costume credit: Giovanna Buzzi / 2016 Cirque du Soleil

Naomi, you perform in the Cirque du Soleil show LUZIA. How many years have you been with them?

I started with LUZIA in 2016, so it’s been 8 years. We have just celebrated the 8th year [of the show].


Were you with the Cirque du Soleil beforehand?

I had done a production with Cirque du Soleil but, in fact, I was hired by another company, but LUZIA was my first creation with the company.


And what training did you do to join Cirque du Soleil?

I studied at the National Circus School in Montreal, which is a three-year intensive circus programme. So I graduated from that school.


And did you grow up in Montreal?

I grew up in Quebec City. I started circus in Quebec City and continued my training in Montreal.


So you’re a Québécoise, a Canadian.



Cirque du Soleil has people from all over the world, from what I understand.

Yes, it’s very international. But we’re lucky in Quebec because we have a great circus community.


One of the best, I think.

One of the most recognised, that’s for sure.


And did you grow up with a family that was also involved in the circus?

No, I’m the only one in my family who’s in the circus business. My mother just discovered my talent at a very young age, so she enrolled me in circus classes straight away.


And what talent did she discover?

I was very, very agile when I was very young. I used to hang off of everything. I was already doing pirouettes on my own in my living room. So right away, she saw that there was something to discover at that moment.

LUZIA Cirque du Soleil Naomi Zimmermann
Image: Matt Beard

And when did you discover the circus yourself? It was seeing a show, I imagine.

No, not even that. In fact, it was my mother who, I think, had family who knew about the circus. So she enrolled me in a circus class, and while I didn’t really know what the circus was, I had the idea that it was more about clowns and all that. I didn’t really know what acrobatics were, but when I went to my first class, I knew straight away what it was. Then I fell in love with it.


And what made you decide to do this professionally?

I think that just by progressing in my circus classes, I really had a great passion. I also had a trainer who was really passionate about the young people she had. And I was in that group. She really pushed us to become better artists in fact. And then, when I heard that there was a more intensive school in Montreal, I applied to be part of the programme.


And now let’s talk a little about your number in LUZIA. You do an adagio number in which you are an acrobat who is launched by three bases who hold your hands and feet. Tell us a little about this number.

Yes, that’s exactly what it is. So I’m an aerialist with three partners who swing me in the air, who launch me into the air. Then after some acrobatics, they catch me. It’s a bit like a four-way choreography. And that’s it.


So you have to be not only an acrobat and aerialist, but also a bit of a dancer.

In the circus, we like to incorporate an artistic side. So it’s also part of our training to have dance to help form an act.


LUZIA Image: Anne Colliard
Image: Anne Colliard

And do you know why they are called “adagio” numbers?

That’s a very good question. My definition, or at least what I understand, is that adagio includes more than just two people. Because in fact, when I was training, I only trained with one carrier. But when we called the adagio number ‘Adagio’, it generally includes more than one base and one flyer. It’s when there are more than just one base.


What do you find most difficult about doing the Adagio?

I don’t really know. That’s a good question. I think it’s more about supporting a team that we do several times a week. So obviously it’s supporting no matter what life throws at us, then supporting each other on stage and performing at the same level all the time.


I believe you have to have a lot of confidence in the bases.

Yes, but that’s something we’ve developed over time. We’ve been training together for a long time. But I think that by doing this for a very long time, you learn to trust very quickly, not too quickly, but I get to know when to trust and at what moment. And trust develops quite well.


After eight years, I imagine it’s like family.

Yes, we’ve had a few changes of partners over the years, but there are at least two who have been there from the start too, but we always welcome the new ones very quickly.


Did you always want to be a flyer or did you find this role by accident?

Maybe a bit by accident. My trainer, when I was younger, immediately saw the potential in me as an flyer. In fact, she had a twin sister, and they were both bases. They tried flying with me straight away and I loved it. And I think that since then, it’s never been a question of wanting to do [anything other than] aerial circus after that.

Image: Matt Beard
Image: Matt Beard


Chatting now about the show in general, when was LUZIA created?

It was created between 2015 and 2016, and then we opened at the end of April 2016.


So you were really with the show from the beginning, even before it started.

In fact, I was part of the creation of the show.


It’s a show that’s inspired by, and is in a way is a tribute to, Mexico. Have you ever been to Mexico?

Yes, I lived in Mexico for eight months.


With this show?

With a different show actually. Just before the creation of LUZIA.


Has this show been performed in Mexico and what did the Mexican audience think?

Yes, the show went to Mexico. We did three cities. I think it really struck a chord with the audience. It’s in their language, it’s also their culture that we’re showing them. We had a lot of members of the public who sometimes came and waited at the exit for us to sign their programmes. So it was really good. I think it was a really good audience.


So it’s been eight years, except I guess with COVID, but the show has been playing for eight years. How long does a Cirque du Soleil show normally play for?

About ten years on tour. After that, sometimes the company decides to recycle the show in an arena, but generally ten years.


And why should people go and see LUZIA?

Because LUZIA is a very colourful show that can inspire people’s lives. It’s a good show that can take you away from everyday life, that can give you a new vision, that can affect someone. I think it can give people a little bit of inspiration.


Cirque du Soleil shows are always wonderful, so I can’t wait to see this one. But is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Well, LUZIA is a show that also has new elements, like water. And we have artists from all over the world, artists who are the best in the world at what they do. So I really think that everyone should bear witness to that. And then, once you’ve seen it, you can tell the world about it too.

Cirque du Soleil LUZIA
Title: Roue Cyr and Trapeze from LUZIA
Picture credit: Matt Beard
Costume credit: Giovanna Buzzi / 2016 Cirque du Soleil

How long are you on stage doing your number?

The adagio number lasts five minutes but I’m in the whole show in the sense that we have appearances all over the place in this show. And that’s the way it is with every artist.


Normally, there are separate acts and then there’s a bit of group work too, right?

In fact, in the scenes, of course we have appearances, but depending on what the scene is, sometimes we’re a couple, sometimes we’re in a group, sometimes we’re alone. It depends on the story of the show.


Thank you very much and I wish you all the best in Melbourne and I hope to see you in June.

See you in June then!

We thank Naomi Zimmermann for this interview and look forward to seeing Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA in June.

LUZIA Cirque du Soleil Image: Anne Colliard
Image: Anne Colliard


WHAT: Cirque du Soleil – LUZIA


MELBOURNE – Flemington Racecourse – 24 March to 26 May 2024 (except Mondays and Tuesdays)

ADELAIDE – Adelaide Showground – from 9 June to 7 July 2024 (except Mondays and Tuesdays)

PERTH – Claremont Showground – from 25 July to 25 August 2024 (except Mondays and Tuesdays)

SYDNEY – The Entertainment Quarter – from 24 November 2024 to 27 January 2025 (except Mondays and Tuesdays)

BRISBANE – next to the Royal Queensland Golf Club from 25 September to 3 November 2024 (except Mondays and Tuesdays)

HOW: Tickets for all cities can be purchased from Cirque du Soleil’s website.


More interviews with artists from other Cirque du Soleil shows

INTERVIEW: Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK: The First Flight

Thomas Hubener, acrobat from Cirque du Soleil talks about KURIOS: Cabinet of Curiosities

Related Posts

Matilda Marseillaise

Discover more from Matilda Marseillaise

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading