Kooza is Cirque Du Soleil’s latest offering to Australian audiences. The story of the innocent, naive clown striving to find his place in the world – in this case a world of amazing acrobatic and musical experiences. Having seen a few productions over the years Kooza is a much nod to it’s circus roots. It is also quite possible one of the best of their productions to tour Australia.
As usual we enter the tent to be met with chaotic characters on roving the stage and through the audience. Rather than chaotic this is very precise clowning. When the show opens we meet our innocent clown and our trickster clown and they will take us on the journey.
It is hard to do a review of a Cirque Du Soleil show and not use too many superlatives. The show phrases perfectly with contortionists, aerial hoops, unicycle stunts, a chair balancing act and hula hoop brilliance. Every act engages the audience and pulls gasps and other involuntary exclamations from them. But there are three acts that had every person in the audience wide eyed with wonder. The Teeterboard act involved catapulting performers into the air onto the shoulders of stacked troupe members. The act was as entertaining as it was skilful and as is to be expected the performance ended with some astonishing feats. The double high wire act was a trapeze act on steroids. Jumps, somersaults, bikes and chairs – often in combination with each other – had the audience in trepidation and amazement. Probably the act that elicited the loudest gasps and had the audience truly in awe was the Wheel of Death, a name not as full of hyperbole as you would imagine. The two performers ran in, and on top of, these spinning hamster wheels and even this sometimes jaded critic was left dumbfounded.
Cirque Du Soleil not only created this unique entertainment style, it has constantly remained ahead of the many variations that have burst into existence since. In Kooza the level of excellence continues. Detail and quality is the DNA of the shows. The costumes are exquisite (Keep an eye out for my coming article when we go back stage and talk to performers and the head of wardrobe). The music is a crisscross of orchestral arrangements to funk and the soulful voices of the singers are worth paying to see on their own. The set design appears deceptively simple, a small rotunda with the band sitting on top. Underneath curtains unveil the next act. But ‘Cirque’ does nothing simply. Huge curtains unwrap like flower petals above the rotund add another level of anticipation and beauty to this whole production. There is always another layer in the shows whether it be music, staging feats or clowning. That’s what keeps Cirque on top.
Overall this is a beautiful and skilful production that will extract awe, wonder, apprehension, laughter and joy. Do not miss this. It is not a cheap ticket but you will get value for every single dollar.
Lynden Jones – Theatre Now and Talking Arts
Photos: Matt Beard ©2012 Cirque du Soleil & Lynden Jones as noted
Costumes in photos: Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt ©2012 Cirque du Soleil
25 Aug – 13 Nov 2016
Tue – Sat 8pm
Sat 4:30pm and 8pm
Sunday 1:30pm and 5:00pm
Venue: Entertainment Quarter: Grand Chapiteau
Theatre Company: Cirque Du Soleil
A return to our origins, KOOZA combines acrobatic performance and the art of clowning, while exploring fear, identity, recognition and power. The Innocent’s journey brings him into contact with comic characters from an electrifying world full of surprises, thrills, audacity and total involvement.