I had never seen a Cirque du Soleil show before and my husband said to me recently that he wanted to take me because it was something you had to experience.
Call it serendipity but a few weeks later I was contacted to go to the Cirque du Soleil KOOZA show and meet the artists backstage!
I was literally beside myself, I knew I was going to love it.
KOOZA by Cirque du Soleil is currently playing under the famous blue-and-yellow Big Top at the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park.
As soon as you walk in to the foyer you can feel the excitement building. I for one, didn’t know what to expect and I was completely intrigued.
Cirque Du Soleil Kooza Review
Cirque du Soleil KOOZA combines two circus traditions —acrobatic performance and the art of clowning.
The show opens with slapstick humour from some very quirky characters, The King of Fools and his equally foolish footmen. They appear frequently throughout the evening to provide some light relief from the jaw-dropping and high risk circus acts.
I cannot begin to tell you how amazing the acrobats are! Their sheer strength and athleticism is mind- blowing. They make it seem so effortless and the fluidity of their movements is truly breathtaking. I found out later that they train for each show 8 hours a day and it shows.
There is everything from contortion and chair balancing to aerial hoop and high wire.
To see such gravity-defying acts up close is frightening and exhilarating at the same time. I had to hide my head in my hands at one point, too scared to look and I was screaming out in terror the next.
Throughout all this though the performers are in complete control of themselves and the audience. You are putty in their hands for 2.5 hours and I loved every minute of it.
My favourite act was the Wheel of Death. The clue is in the name! I don’t want to give too much away suffice to say that it features a death-defying display of fearless acrobatics and astonishing teamwork. Your heart will be in your mouth the whole time!
I met one of the performers and he has been with Cirque du Soleil for 7 years. Why you would want to do that for a living I don’t know but I’m glad that they do! I was happy to get in my car and go home afterwards but they sleep, get up and do it all over again. Crazy???
I was lucky enough to take a tour of backstage with Touring Publicist Mami Ohki. It was an honour to see the costumes up close and to meet some of the team including Karen Tushaus from wardrobe.
As with all Cirque du Soleil shows, the costumes and make-up that the performers wear are a work of art in themselves. Costume designer Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt drew on a wide variety of sources for inspiration: everything from graphic novels, the painter Klimt, Mad Max movies, time-travel movies to India and Eastern Europe.
She was also inspired by clock movements, tin soldiers, marching band uniforms and children’s book illustrations. All this merges to create a look that alludes to Alice in Wonderland, Baron Munchaüsen and the Wizard of Oz.
There are many challenges creating and maintaining costumes for a show like KOOZA. For example the contortionists’ costumes feature what looks like metal chains but there are actually made of elastic so that they do not cause injury to the performers.
“It’s been a great challenge, but it’s also full of traps. You don’t want to exaggerate or slip into creating a caricature when you’re trying to capture a character.” — Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt
More Cirque Du Soleil KOOZA Fun Facts:
- The name KOOZA is inspired by the Sanskrit word “koza,” which means “box,” “chest” or “treasure,” and was chosen because one of the underlying concepts of the production is the idea of a “circus in a box.”
- All costumes are custom-made and the majority are produced at the Costume workshop in the International Headquarters in Montreal, Canada.
- There are more than 175 costumes and 160 hats in the show—1,080 items in all, including all the shoes, props, wigs etc.
- The cast and crew of KOOZA represents 20 nationalities: Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.
- Approximately 150 people travel with the tour including more than 110 members of the cast and crew. The rest are official accompanying members (spouses and children). Of all the employees, 50 are performers.
- Cirque du Soleil’s mobile village includes the Big Top, one large entrance tent, artistic tent, box office, kitchen, offices, warehouses and more. Completely self-sufficient for electrical power, the site relies only on a local water supply and telecommunication facilities to support its infrastructure.
- The kitchen is the heart of the village. It serves three meals a day to 300 people six days a week and serves as a meeting place for cast and crew.
Who wants to run away with me to the circus? Maybe not but I’ll be front and centre when Cirque du Soleil comes back to Sydney!
A absolute must-see! Experience the magic for yourself:
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL KOOZA – 2016/2017 AUSTRALIAN TOUR Sydney
Now playing until November 13 2016, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park Sydney
Followed by Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
For more info visit the website www.cirquedusoleil.com/kooza