Cirque du Soleil KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities
The Entertainment Quarter, Sydney
The exquisite program has so much information on the show, and the many characters who grace the stage. Being Cirque du Soleil, an incredible amount of planning and research goes into every character – these are not just actors or performers who wander in and around the spotlight. There is meaning to every little thing they do.
And there is always a story. In this instance, a science geek called the Seeker is convinced that there is another, hidden world where wonderful dreams and crazy ideas await. A collection of otherworldly characters appears, and his curios come to life. The message? In order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, we must first learn to close our eyes.
It is impossible to describe the characters and the show. I am a Cirque du Soleil fan, having seen at least ten shows, but I am still completely blown away by what the innovative designers, creators and performers come up with with Kurios. There are new acts that are like nothing Cirque have done before, with other acts that range from the sublime, to the beautiful, from the my-face-hurts- funny to OMG I can’t watch daring. There is one thing I noticed that is different, and that is the the musicians and singers are more front and centre now – more a part of the production, whereas in the past shows I have seen they were a little like the orchestra and out of sight. And I still love that the music is played live, so the musicians must watch what the performers are doing like hawks.
KURIOS is Cirque du Soleil’s 35th production, and features 122 tour members from 23 countries. Well over half have worked with Cirque du Soleil before. There are 426 props in the show – more than any other Cirque du Soleil production. I love the cadence of the show, going from rhythmic, to wow to surely they are not going to try that.
It starts with Chaos Synchro 1900, which starts with a train spilling its customers out at the station, and becomes a musical and juggling extravaganza with a joyous air you might find in an Irish pub. It is delightful and I can’t stop jiggling to the infectious beat in my seat. The next act, Aerial Bicycle is exactly what it sounds like. It is a world first – and not just for Cirque du Soleil. The performer hangs off just about every part of the bike in mid-air, and even rides it when it – and she – are upside down.
The Invisible Circus is clever and funny, and then Cortortion is slick and smooth and beautiful, with four performers who could easily play a real life Elastigirl demonstrating great strength, flexibility and grace as they bend and climb into human pyramids.
Upside Down World is an unbelievable display of strength and balance, as the artist does handstands and other balancing acts on piled up chairs. Then, I can’t believe their is a mirrored act, coming down the ceiling. It is spellbinding.
Incredible balance is also on show during Rola Bola, where a man clad like an instagramming aviator, balances on tubes and rollers stacked on tops of each other – up in the air. People are on the edges of their seats as there is zero room for error.
The next act is Acronet, and this is one of the high energy, magical acts that has the audience oohing and aahing and chewing a fingernail or three. A type of trampoline, the artists fly ridiculously high while underneath the net, or the sea, as it were, there is virtually another show with fish flapping by and other things going on. I didn’t actually see because I was transfixed by the humans flying through the air.
It wouldn’t be a Cirque show without some comedy, with some poor unsuspecting person from the audience dragged up. In this case, without too much away, the comedian does the best impression of a cat that I have ever seen. My cheeks are still sore from laughing. A man who can do incredible things with the humble yo yo is next, and I can’t really tell you what he did with the yo-yos – yes there were two going at once – because he was so fast and whipped those things around his head and body at lightning speed.
With my head still spinning I calm down watching two brothers on the Aerial Straps, they hang, spin, fly and cross each other with just centimetres to spare. It is quite spectacular.
The next act – Theatre of Hands – is another surprise to me, and something that is simple, clever and innovative. It actually is a form of shadow artistry with an artist using only his fingers to tell a story that is filmed and projected in real time on a hot-air balloon that serves as a screen. So much goes on that you need to concentrate.
The final act is my favourite, Banquine. A typical Cirque du Soleil act of acrobatics and teamwork with a hefty dose of wow factor. 13 artists do incredible things, somersaulting through the air and landing on shoulders sometimes three-people-high. Sometimes there is more than one artist flying through the air. To add to its charm, they dance to the music, even the bigger burly anchors. I love it.
What I loved
Like any Cirque du Soleil production, there is just so much to see. There are all kinds of things going around the stage on something resembling a sushi train. There are robots, deep sea diver helmets, scientists, fish, clouds with legs and a mechanical hand. I particularly love the Accordion Man, Mr Microcosmos and Mini Lili. The actress who plays Mini Lili is Australia’s Rima Hadchiti, who is is just under a metre tall and is one of the ten smallest people in the world. She is captivating and dramatic as the unconscious mind of Mr Microcosmos. I love it from beginning – there is even stuff happening while the audience takes their seats – to the end. And judging by the standing ovation, I am not alone. Go see it!
Cirque du Soleil Kurios Cabinet of Curiosities is now on at the Entertainment Quarter, Sydney, Brisbane from 10 January to 9 February, Melbourne from 12 March to 13 April, and then Adelaide, from 29 May to 7 June, 2020. Consider the VIP Experience – you’ll be hosted in a new private hospitality suite with excellent food and drinks pre-show and at intermission, receive a gift bag and sit in the best seats in the house.
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