Fac­ing up to chal­lenge

SHANDIEN Larance knew how to ap­ply eye­liner and mas­cara but she had much to learn about stage make-up when she joined the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Totem in 2011.

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page - Tanya MacNaughton

SHANDIEN Larance knew how to ap­ply eye­liner and mas­cara but she had much to learn about stage make-up when she joined the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Totem in 2011.

Ev­ery per­former is tasked with ap­ply­ing their own face, fol­low­ing the de­sign cre­ated by the com­pany’s make-up de­sign­ers in Mon­treal.

“The make-up artist will ap­ply it for you in your first make-up ses­sion,” Larance said.

“So they give you a step-bystep and as you’re learn­ing how to do it, they take pic­tures of your face at ev­ery step. Ap­ply­ing the cream is one step, the sec­ond base cream is another step and so on un­til you have a pho­to­graphic in­struc­tion man­ual.”

Larance, who calls New Mexico home, comes from the Hopi, Navajo, Tewa and Assini­boine tribes, and is one of two Na­tive Amer­i­can hoop dancers in Totem.

The show’s orig­i­nal hoop dancer, who has since left, is her older brother and seven times Hoop Dance World Cham­pion Nako­tah Larance.

“When I first came to Totem, there wasn’t a fe­male char­ac­ter Na­tive Amer­i­can dancer,” she said.

“When Nako­tah started, they cre­ated the make-up for him but when I came on board they had to give me a fem­i­nine look based on my bone struc­ture, so the de­sign was specif­i­cally cre­ated for my face.”

Per­form­ers use MAC and Ben Nye prod­ucts, in­clud­ing pow­ders to set the make-up and mois­tur­is­ing creams spe­cific to per­former’s skin types.

“We travel with ev­ery­thing so the cab­i­net is al­ways full of makeup,” Larance said.

“You open it up and it’s like a candy shop.”

Larance said she had man­aged to cut an hour off the time it orig­i­nally took to ap­ply and now clocked in at an hour and a half.

“Peo­ple know not to dis­turb you and it’s your time to be in your own mind, be­come calm, fo­cus and it puts you into your char­ac­ter,” she said.

“I feel like a to­tally dif­fer­ent per­son as soon as I put on my make-up.”

Larance is back with Totem for the Perth sea­son af­ter four months at home re­cov­er­ing from a foot frac­ture.

View our Totem photo gallery and be­hind-the-scenes time-lapse video of Larance pre­par­ing for a show at www.com­mu­ni­tynews. com.au.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d441432

Shandien Larance puts on her stage make-up.

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