O brave new world, that has such creatures in it.
In Diane Paulus' graceful Cirque du Soleil twist on "The Tempest," which reopens Jan. 22 in San Jose following a successful San Francisco run, women reign supreme.
Here the master wizard, Prospera, is a mother, and her beautiful daughter Miranda is something akin to a mermaid. They live on a mystical island framed by gigantic peacock feathers, oceans of undulating silk, Amazon warriors and fierce Valkyries. It's a big top homage to the goddess that explores the power of the moon and the cycle of life.
Spectacle has long been the trademark of this French Canadian entertainment empire, but "Amaluna" takes the circus into the realm of fire and water with great panache.
In one of the eye-popping show's most enchanting acts, contortionist Ikhertsetseg Bayarsaikhan (who alternates in the role with Iuliia Mykhailova) dives into a gigantic water bowl to perform a mesmerizing underwater ballet.
The lithe acrobat dives into a bowl that's 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 5,500 pounds when filled with water -- and she swims away with the audience's heart. She also makes quite an impression on her Romeo (Olivier Potrias), who soon joins her in taking the plunge into romance.
It's one of many dazzling visual delights of "Amaluna," which will pitch its blue-and-yellow tent through March 2 in San Jose.
Presented by Cirque du Soleil, directed by Diane Paulus
When & where: Jan. 22-March 2, under the Big Top at the Taylor Street Bridge, San Jose
Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes,
Tickets: $45-$270, 800-450-1480,
Online: To see a slide show of photos from "Amaluna," and a review of the production, go to www.mercurynews.com/entertainment.