In case you haven’t heard, the clowns are in town! This year, Cirque du Soleil’s newest production, KOOZA, is now showing at the Big Top in Marina Bay Sands.
The name KOOZA originates from the Sanskrit word koza, meaning “box” or “treasure”. Created in 2007 by director and veteran clown David Shiner, KOOZA pays homage to the circus tradition of acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. I attended the opening night and could not get enough of the awe-inspiring production. There’re so many reasons to rave about KOOZA:
- Unique Storyline and Eccentric Characters
KOOZA follows the story of The Innocent, who is a child-like, melancholic character. This is before he meets The Trickster, who emerges like a Jack-in-the-Box, his colourful counterpart, that thrusts The Innocent into a topsy-turvy world of fun and action.
There’s a dynamic interaction even between the artistes and characters, bringing out the dramatic personalities of the characters. The solo trapeze artiste flirted briefly with The Trickster, while The Innocent sheepishly attempted stunts by the various performers, who looked on with glee.
The Clowns and the Bad Dog. Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.
Together with the hilarious King of Fools and his clownish court jesters, The Bad Dog and the robot beneath the stage, KOOZA presents quirky and wilful characters that are all charming in their own way.
- Riveting acrobatic displays
Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.
The show dives into the acrobatic performances unabashedly, with human pyramids and bodies flying through the air. There was one memorable scene in the Charivari act, where the performers had to dive into a circle of fabric held up by their “firefighters”, and nothing else!
The High Wire act teased the crowd mercilessly – at every point where one starts fearing for the artistes’ lives, they’d make it even more death-defying. The tightrope walkers navigated the ropes with ease, even cycling across it on bicycles, lifting a fellow artiste on a chair!
The Wheel of Death was the most thrilling highlight of the show. Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.
The 1,600-pound Wheel of Death was a crowd favourite, with two artistes toying dangerously with their gravity-defying stunts. There were even moments when the performers teased us, threatening to fall, only to catch themselves back again with effortless grace. This act had the entire audience at the edge of their seats in suspense, squealing whenever the performers hurled themselves into the air fearlessly.
While there were heart-stopping moments, there were also intricately graceful moments, one of which is the beautifully choreographed Contortionist act that I particularly enjoyed. Adorned in shimmering bodysuits, the young contortionists twisted themselves in ways unimaginable, and in such synchronicity that everyone could not help but “ooh” and “aah” at the lines and shapes they formed.
Other highlights included the Unicycle Duo, a twist on the classic unicycle act that includes a female “passenger” who dances, flips and manoeuvres herself around the unicyclist, and the Teeterboard, which flung artists in the air where they execute multiple somersaults – even with stilts on their legs!
- Brilliant Music, Live Singing and Sound System
The live band, playing a fusion of jazz, funk and Bollywood beats, was unforgettable. There was a touch of modern influence on the orchestral arrangements, which was drawn heavily on traditional Indian music. This made for a rhythmic set piece, which had its softer, soothing moments to bring out the beautiful choreography of the acts.
- Mesmerising Costumes, Props, Lighting and Set Design
As soon as KOOZA starts, the theatrical element is strong. Even the quieter, introspective scenes were well-acted and the rapid-fire costume changes were riveting. The costumes seemed like they came right out of a children’s storybook – notably the “Rat Cape” and Skeleton costume which sent shivers down my spine.
As the scenes changed seamlessly with the rise and fall of the curtains, I could feel the occasional spine tingle as I anticipated the next scene. I’d usually only expect this from a play – but Cirque du Soleil is a real class act.
The travelling tower, called the Bataclan, was inspired by Hindu culture, Pakistani buses and Indian jewellery, which added to the exotic, elegant and intriguing atmosphere.
The set design resembles a circus ring, which allows for an intimate setting with plenty of audience interaction by the King of Fools and his clowns. Be prepared to be splashed with a load of good humour!
Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.
KOOZA is great for families and especially the young at heart. Come and be captivated by this world-class performance – it will be a feast for all your senses.
What: Cirque du Soleil KOOZA
Where: The Big Top, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
When: 12 July till 20 August 2017
Get your tickets via SISTIC
. There is a 15% discount for M1 customers.