Kooza is a spectacle of wonder by Cirque Du Soleil

Posted by & filed under REVIEWS, Theatre.

Cirque Du Soleil’s Kooza is a spectacular performance that takes place under the big top in the Calgary Stampede Parking lot. It’s an experience of awe that soothes the fact that you hiked to get there (construction makes getting to the venue challenging). The story follows a clown -The Innocent (Cédric Bélisle) – who is finding his way in the world. While flying his kite, The Innocent is delivered a mysterious package. A trickster (Joey Vice) shows him a mysterious world and reveals all kinds of wonder and amazement. The lightning effect that accompanies the opening of this world in Kooza looks and feels like magic. This dramatic opening also features musicians who create tunes that set the scene for the whole production.

The first circus act we witness are contortionists Sunderiya Jargalsaikhan, Ninjin Altankhuyag, and Sender Enkhtur. They twist and hit jaw-dropping positions while painting a bright picture with their bodies. These artists make it look so easy as they bend to create different shapes in shiny costumes.

We also get to see a fierce silk artist who swings and flies through the air to the music. She builds her scene and rolls in midair. Her character is sassy and confident and it’s fun to watch.

This scene then rolls into an act with a unicycle rider (Dmytro Dudnyk) who lifts and dances with Anastasiia Shkandybina. The artists are strong and skilled, but this act seems not to have as much spark or wow factor. In comparison to all the other scenes in the first half, this one doesn’t stand up as much. The artists are extremely talented, but this act just doesn’t hold your attention poignantly.

The final performance of the first half features death-defying artists Vicente Quiros, Roberto Quiros Dominguez, Jhon Brahyan Sanchez, Flouber Sanchez, and William Rodriguez Munoz as they balance on highwires. They jump rope and skip like it’s not a big deal and then for their final feat they ride bicycles. It’s mesmerizing and a great way to close out the first half.

In between performances are clowns Sean Kempton, Miguel Berlanga Madrono, and Duncan Cameron. They have skits that they perform between the circus acts and are the most tedious part of the show. Kooza would soar without the clowns in the middle. The quality of their performances pales in comparison to the other circus acts.

The second half of Kooza includes two incredible artists making jumps in a spinning wheel of death and this act is spectacular in strength and performance. You watch them make these jumps and you can’t help but hold your breath during each one. It’s awe on a large scale.

We are then treated to a drumming solo to break up the wonder and the circus acts. Eden Bahar builds up momentum and we get to groove to his rhythm.

The second half includes Aruna Bataa manipulating hoola hoops which is fascinating to watch but after coming down from the high of the wheel of death, this performance feels a bit subdued. We also are invited to watch Wei-Liang Lin juggling diabolos, which is fun but also a bit subdued.

Kooza closes with multiple artists running acrobatics with teeterboards and it is an amazing closing act. The flips and jumps are visually stunning and play into a theme of awe and wonder.

It’s all done with vibrant costuming and outstanding set and lighting design. Cirque du Solei’s Kooza is not to be missed.

Cirque Du Soleil’s Kooza runs until October 8th. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Matt Beard & Bernard Letendre
Costumes: Marie Chantale Vaillancourt

Comments are closed.