Joyà (pronounce: hoi-ya) is a resident Cirque du Soleil dinner show located at the Vidanta Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. It is a collaborative project between Events + Experiences and it's parent company Cirque du Soleil. It is the 36th Cirque du Soleil production since 1984 and is the first resident show in Latin America. Joyà premiered on November 8, 2014 in a custom-built theater for the resort.
The show was mainly inspired by the Monarch Butterfly’s journey. A process where generations of butterflies transfer knowledge to the next one before dying. A link between Cirque Du Soleil (Canada) and Mexico. The concept is based on the organic history of Mexico. From the meteor known to cause the dinosaurs extinction to cenotes, Mexican wrestlers and even the underwater museum.
The story, set in a naturalist's library that transforms into other exotic locations, follows the journey of a "rebellious young girl [who] is sent by her mischievous grandfather on a fantastical quest spanning generations".
The name Joyà roots from the Spanish word "joya" meaning "jewel" or "pearl" and alludes to a person or event of great value.
- 1 Exterior and Site Information
- 2 Set and Technical Information
- 3 Costume Designs
- 4 Characters
- 5 Acts
- 6 Music
- 7 Menu
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Video
- 10 References
- 11 External Links
Exterior and Site Information
The Joyà Theater is located at the Vidanta Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The site of the theater is surrounded by a lagoon overlooking the Mayan Jungle.
During the construction phase of the Joyà Theater, trees, rare plants, and animals were all displaced. To better preserve the natural habitat, a wooden walkway leading to the theatre was deliberately built above ground, allowing animals to pass freely underneath.
The Joyà Theater Site is broken up into four sections, the ticket booth, Nektar: Grill and Lounge, the Joyà Gift Shop, and the Joyà Theater itself. When seen from the top, the construction layout represents a palm tree.
Set and Technical Information
Inside the Joyà Theater is "The Naturalism"; the stage for the Joyà show. The set for The Naturalism is designed to be a combination of a great library, a vivarium (an area used to keep closed to observe and raise animals or plants), and a terrarium (a seal-able glass container containing plants). The set also contains a large amount of props from different time periods to represent knowledge that has been collected over time. It took six months to create the set for the theater
Going with the show's theme of the transfer of knowledge, Theater and Set Designer Guillaume Lord integrated two large books on the stage. The technical grid is hidden behind a giant mechanism that represents a time machine. The stage design was inspired by the history and culture of Mexico and various works from Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
Throughout the show, the stage goes through a series of transformations based on the narrative. During the hand balancing act, large scrims are used to suggest an underwater world. One of the books on stage opens up to reveal a large pirate ship. Another notable use of the stage is the middle of the ring can descend and rotate.
The costumes of Joyà reflect different time periods mixing past with contemporary styles. Prints on the costumes of various characters reflect. The prints on the Entomologist’s costume are inspired by old drawings of insects. The Master of Time features sundial and meridian images. The pleating on the side of the Archivist’s dress evokes the edge of a book. The Alchemist features invented alchemy symbols based on the Fibonacci spiral, which recalls the longhorn ram head he is wearing. For the shadow characters that appear during the night scenes, the fabric was dipped in black silicone to create a shining effect.
For the characters of Joyà and Zelig, Makeup Designer Nathalie Gagné wanted to represent the purity and light of the story. She had designed Joyà and Zelig to be albinos to not only represent their family link together but to show that they are beings of the light. Underneath the masks, The Masters wear white makeup with lines to represent their animal family. This was done in a simple and graphic manner like a child’s drawings as if Joyà had drawn them in her notebook.
- Joyà: An albino atypical girl, Joyà accompanies her grandfather Zelig on scientific endeavors, but with her grandfather's health starts to deplete, he passes on his mission to collect all the world's knowledge to her.
- Zelig: Grandfather to Joya, is an aging albino naturalist. He is a mixture of Don Quixote, Charles Darwin, Faust, and Leonardo da Vinci. He works in "The Naturalium" and has made it his life's mission to collect all the knowledge of the world.
- The Entomologist: One of the Masters and assistant to Zelig. The Entomologist is a scientist who studies insects in the branch of Zoology. The Entomologist bears the Coati Mask.
- The Master of Time: One of the Masters and assistant to Zelig. The Master of Time bears the Rabbit Mask.
- The Archivist: One of the Masters and assistant to Zelig. The Archivist collects, organizes and preserves information. The Archivist bears the Yucatan Jay Mask.
- The Alchemist: One of the Masters and assistant to Zelig. The Alchemist attempts to purify, mature, and perfect certain materials.The Alchemist bears the Ram Mask.
- The Botanist: One of the Masters and assistant to Zelig. The Botanist is a scientist who studies plant life. The Botanist bears the Cat Mask.
- The Physicist: One of the Masters and assistant to Zelig. The Physicist is a scientist who studies physics and the interactions of matter and energy. The Physicist bears the Chameleon Mask.
- The Master of Water: The performer during the hand balancing act. Her costume is covered in red coral.
- The Diver
- Pre-Show: A singer, dancers, and a tap dancer gives a musical performance to the live music of Arapson.
- Horizontal Juggling
- Icarian Games
- Solo Trapeze
- Hand To Hand
- Hand Balancing
- Aerial Straps
- Skipping Rope
The original musical score for Joyà was composed by Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard (also known as Bob and Bill). The music during the Pre-Show is performed live by the Cuban musical group.
- Elizabeth Gobbo (Rehearsal Only)
- Sophie Guay
- From November 2014 to April 2016
- From May 2016 to July 2016
- July 2016 to January 2017
- Denise Stefanie
- April 2016 to May 2016
- July 2016
- Flor De María López
- January 2017 - November 2017
- December 2017 - June 2018
- Nicola Dawn
- November 2017 to Present
For more information on the songs featured in Joyà, please visit Joyà (Soundtrack).
The Dinner portion of the show is served during the Pre- Show where dancers, singers, and a tap dancer performs. Live music is played by the Joyà house band Arapson. Appetizers, Champagne, and wine are served before the dinner.The dinner is divided up into three main courses: Natura, Arto, and Scienco.
Champagne Mercier, Red Wine, or White Wine
- The champagne can be changed for juices or sodas for children
- There is Unlimited Mercier Champagne if the VIP Dinner is ordered
- Warm Appetizers
- Mini Shredded Beef Tart
- Tomato and Avocado with Shrimp Gazpacho
- Cucumber and Jicama Taco filled with Smoked Salmon
- Watermelon and Cheese with Citrus Brochette
- Cold Appetizers
- Chai Tea Cream Cake with Crunchy Pearls on a “Guajillo” Chili Pepper Cookie covered with Dark Chocolate
- Yucatan Lime Cream
- Cheesecake Lollipop covered with White Chocolate and Toasted Coconut
Natura (Course 1) 
- Marinated Watermelon with Goat Cheese, Toasted Chia Seeds, Iberico Ham and Flowers
- Smoked Fish Tartar, with Mayan Lime Spheres and Mashed Avocado
- Soft Jicama Taco with Shrimp Dzik Salad
Natura (Vegetarian Variety)
- Eatable Flowers Salad,
- Candied Portobello,
- Asparagus with Melon Caviar and Tofu
Arto (Course 2)
- Braised Short-Rib with Roasted Bone Marrow and JOYÀ Corn Crisp
- Fresh Herb Salad with Local Lime, Smoked Squash and Ashes Sauce
- Mayan Chili
- Salmon Filet with Sour Orange Annatto Seed Sauce with Cilantro Purée
- Pineapple, Jicama and Avocado Salad
- Sweet Potato and Corn
Arto (Vegetarian Variety)
- Quinoa Risotto, Tapioca, and Vegetables with Thyme
Scienco (Course 3)
- Four Various Desserts with “Dragon Breath”
- Dragon Breath is dried fruit dipped in liquid nitrogen. When placed in the mouth, it produces vapors which comes out of the nose and mouth.
- The Four Desserts are served in a hollow book.
Exterior of the Joyà Theater
Interior of the Joyà Theater
Behind the Scenes
- The Book of Joyà
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