Can Cirque du Soleil's 'Zumanity' get sexier? A revamped production tries just that

Can Cirque du Soleil's 'Zumanity' get sexier? A revamped production tries just that
Cirque du Soleil is ready to reveal its changes to "Zumanity, the Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil" at New York-New York Hotel & Casino on Thursday night. (Eric Jamison/Cirque du Soleil)

“Zumanity, the Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil” is ready to unveil its latest incarnation, an update after 12 years at

. The sexy version of the show continues to be part burlesque, part cabaret zaniness, with feats of acrobatics thrown in, but about 30 percent of the production changed.

"Zumanity" certainly is not for the faint of heart. The show explores sexuality in all its forms and audience members must be 18 and older.

Yanis Marshall was brought on board to choreograph new pieces for the show, debuting on Thursday night. Marshall, finalist on last season's "Britain's Got Talent", said he'll dance in heels during the show.

"We changed those little things that didn't work after 11 years," Marshall said.

So a scene with two men fighting in cages becomes two men dancing in bird cages wearing red stilettos. "Girls are drawn to it and the boys ask 'How?' It was a challenge to put into the show."

Emcee "Mistress of Sensuality" Edie, played by famed drag diva Christopher Kenney, remains, although her dialog changes to accommodate new performers. Some of the costumes from French designer Thierry Mugler were refreshed, and old pieces from the early days of the show were revived, Marshall said.  "The spirit of it is the same."

So now the dance troupe includes a "very tiny little girl, a huge drag girl and a woman with tattoos from head to heel." Traditional circus arts such as contortion, acrobatics, aerial stunts and hand-balancing are choreographed with dance genres such as African dance, tango, contemporary dance and striptease.

"All of the performers have this confidence, this big confidence. Obviously the big difference is the new energy. They are younger than the previous dancers and have a little more personality."

Another new act involves artist Brandon Pereyda, who sports a red Mohawk. A favorite of women in the audience, Pereyda shows off his athleticism while strapped in chains above the stage.

Tickets start at $69.

Tickets: "Zumanity," (866) 815-4365