Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

SHANDIEN Larance may have known 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 by step 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 makeup 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 make-up,” 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.

“It was a mi­nor frac­ture but be­cause it’s a bone it took time to heal and my doc­tors were very cau­tious,” she said.

“Be­ing home for a solid four months was so good for me be­cause I was with my fam­ily, my earth, my an­i­mals, my songs, my dances, my el­ders and my lan­guage.

“When you first come on tour peo­ple tell you not to for­get where you come from or who you are and I al­most felt like I re­ally did for­get what I loved about my­self and who I was be­fore I came here.

“Then at the end I said I was ready to go home, as in Cirque, be­cause this is my sec­ond home and my sec­ond fam­ily.”

View our Totem photo gallery and be­hind-the-scenes time-lapse video of Larance pre­par­ing for a show at­mu­ni­­mu­ni­ d441432

Shandien Larance, hoop dancer from Totem, ap­plies make-up back­stage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.