Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza is the most acrobatically dangerous show yet, with its homage to the traditions of circus, interpreted by the Cirque du Soleil artists and creators. The show combines acrobatics with the art of clowning. An international cast of 50 acrobats, musicians, magicians, singers, actors and artists present a journey of heart stopping feats, to a live soundtrack of jazz, funk and Bollywood. With nods to Carnivale, The Day of the Dead, military fashion, rock and roll and 1920s cotton club glamour, the costumes of Kooza are stunning.
The show starts with the Trickster bursting onto the scene in front of The Innocent.The Innocent’s journey brings him into contact with a comic characters such as the King, the Heimloss, the Obnoxious Tourist and his Mad Dog. Between strength and fragility, laughter and smiles, turmoil and harmony, Kooza explores themes of identity, recognition and power.
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.”
The Teeterboard act in Kooza flings artists into the air where they execute quintuple twisting somersaults… and that’s just the prelude part! The 725kg Wheel of Death is one of the most dangerous and heart stopping acts where two artists literally walk on air and defy gravity.
The stunning costumes, designed by Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt, have been inspired by the painter Klimt, the Mad Max movies time travel movies to India and Eastern Europe, clocks, tin soldiers and more. There are 175 costumes and 160 hats in the show – 1,080 items in all. All costumes are custom made and 80 per cent of all fabrics are treated and dyed in house to create individual kaleidoscopic colour palettes for each show. One of the Kooza army costumes features more than 400 individually sewn metallic flaps to create an armour look. And then there’s the ostrich feather cape…
To custom make hats, precise measurements are taken of every artists head by a portable scanner and Cirque du Soleil’s milliners build the hats with the help of 3D printers.
Queensland born chef Shane Schipper runs the Kooza tour kitchen… he sets up each on-site kitchen, creates all the menus, sources local produce and serves lunch and dinner every day for 120 cast and crew across 17 different nationalities.
Kooza by Cirque du Soleil opens in Brisbane on November 24 through to January 8. Tickets for the Brisbane season of Kooza are at www.cirquedusoleil.com/kooza or by phone on toll free 1800 036 685.
For more of Eric Scott’s writings on theatre, check out Absolute Theatre
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television