Shorty Street star’s Cirque makeover is out of this world
star Ngahuia Piripi is used to spending an hour a day in the make-up chair.
But instead of getting made up in her character Esther’s understated style, this week she opted for a much more theatrical look.
Ahead of Cirque du Soleil’s tour of
circus performer Guillaume Paquin used three shades of blue creme make-up to transform Piripi into a Na’Vi — a native of the fantastical planet of Pandora where the show is set.
Inspired by James Cameron’s groundbreaking 3D film
features intricate costumes and visual effects.
The New Zealand leg of the tour will kick off at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch on Friday before moving on to Auckland’s Spark Arena later next month.
Its stars are “generalists”, who can perform the gruelling dance, acrobatic and aerial routines for which the Quebecois circus has become renowned.
All 41 performers do their own make-up and after more than 400 performances in two years Paquin, who plays one of the main characters, has it down to a fine art. It takes him about 40 minutes to prepare himself and he finished Piripi’s in an hour.
Piripi told the Herald on Sunday she was “stoked” to get made over as a Na’Vi for the afternoon.
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“I was like a little kid. Everyone wants to play dressups. When I get to wear make-up I just say, ‘give me something that’s something’ because Esther always gets nothing.”
She was surprised the heavy, custom-made Mac make-up didn’t feel like paint on her skin, but instead was just like ordinary foundation.
Piripi said she’d love to get made up as a Na’Vi — or a Nga-Vi, the play on words she’d made on the characters and her name — again for a birthday or Halloween party.
“Or even show up to one of the shows and make people think I’m going to be on stage.”
A huge fan of Cirque du Soleil, Piripi had been to previous shows and was “blown away”.
“The talent is phenomenal. It’s epic. It’s like a whole other world.”
Ngahuia Piripi with Cirque du Soleil performer Kristi Wade.