Wonder and thrills filled Cirque du Soleil’s iconic yellow and blue Grand Chapiteau at Brisbane’s Opening Night of 'KOOZA'.
Following a heart-warming, whimsical opening scene, 'KOOZA' erupts into a kaleidoscope of traditional circus acts to which this production is paying homage.
A house troupe – 19 strong – storms the stage where they stack themselves into staggering human pyramids before propelling troupe members skyward in a time-honoured blanket toss. The troupe disappear in a whirl, and a trio of contortionists, bedecked in shimmering metallic hues, are wheeled to centre stage where – like liquid gold – they intertwine, balance and swivel their bodies into mind-boggling displays of human sculpture.
Unicycling and seduction are two words that I never expected to associate with each other – that was until 'KOOZA'’s twist on the classic unicycle number took to the stage.
While a male unicyclist navigates the stage in perpetual motion, a seemingly light as a feather female performer joins him in a sequence of acrobatic lifts that had me in awe of their core strength. It is, however, their poignant pedalled waltz that draws a collective satisfied sigh from the crowd.
Circuses of old always featured a highwire act, and 'KOOZA' doesn’t disappoint with a double high-wire upon which four tightrope walkers teeter not only on their feet, but atop bicycles and chairs. The Wheel of Death, an act I have seen performed previously (albeit largely through my fingers) was the act that I was looking forward to the most but also dreading. My trepidation was not allayed by the preceding Skeleton Dance featuring the Grim Reaper.
As the spinning contraption rotated overhead under the manpower of two gravity-defying male performers, I gasped, held my breath and whooped along with the rest of the audience (when I wasn’t burrowing my head into my sister’s shoulder that is).
These acts along with the trapeze, riotous clowns and so much more, celebrate the circuses of yesteryear whilst also showcasing the innovation for which Cirque du Soleil is famous. The circus is in town Brisbanites, so if you haven’t already got a ticket, take yourself along to see 'KOOZA', and feel the magic up close.
TOUR DATES24 November-8 January – Skygate (Brisbane)20 January-12 February – Flemington Racecourse (Melbourne)13 April-7 May – Belmont Park Racecourse (Perth)