Chills and Thrills
Nearly 15 years after its creation, Cirque du Soleil’s “Kooza” show still arouses as much excitement, and with good reason.
Set up under the emblematic marquee of the Old Port of Montreal until mid-August, this magnificent odyssey which marvellously combines high-flying acrobatic performance and clowning art, to officially celebrate its return to the stage.
In a flamboyant and exotic universe, with Indian accents, the acrobatic numbers were, for the most part, very impressive both in terms of the mastery and risk-taking of the artists. The tightrope walker brothers Vicente and Roberto Quiros Dominiguez, who have been there since the beginning of the “Kooza” adventure, and Flouber Sanchez notably kept the public on the end of their chair.
Towards the end of the number, many worried and fearful interjections were heard among the 2,500 spectators gathered under the white and blue marquee, and almost everyone rose to applaud them.
Russian Viktor Levoshuk’s surprising chair balancing act, which climbs a nearly 30-foot-tall pyramid, as well as Colombians Ronaldo Solis Montes and Angelo Lyerzkysky’s wheel of death, and aerial straps of the American Haley Rose Viloria, were equally captivating.
Seeking his place in the world, the innocent, played by Cédric Bélisle, a melancholic loner, signs the reception of a mysterious box, or koza, in Sanskrit language. He then meets an imp who leads him into a magical world where he will cross paths with a king, who has the bearing of a Maharajah, and his two acolytes, as well as the thundering tourist and his crazy dog.
Back to basics
This show, which was created 15 years ago, is a return to the sources of circus art. The staging and sets – a multi-storey tower that occupies one corner of the vast circular stage – are simple yet effective.
They’re also not overloaded with high-tech stage elements – apart for the few confetti cannon blasts that were given at the start of the show. In this formula, it is without a doubt the artists and the costumes that really impressed.
Without forgetting the clownish animations, which between the acrobatic numbers were hilarious and well done. It will surely please the whole family. The music was lively, rhythmic and sometimes funny. Inspired by funk, and even 1970s rock, with touches of traditional Indian music, they set the tone for the evening and kept the audience spellbound.
The singer Joanie Goyette, who rose to fame at Star Academie in 2009, plays the role of the soul singer in the year’s production. She also shares the mic with the American Kathryn Holtkamp who takes care of the spiritual and lyrical songs. Present in the tower throughout the show, they were accompanied by a group of musicians.
First presented in 2007, Kooza has since been seen by eight million people in 20 countries. More than 30 performances are scheduled in Montreal this Summer. For more info, click here.
North American Premiere anyone? The “Stranger Than Kindness : The Nick Cave Exhibition” is at the Galerie de la Maison Du Festival in Montreal. It is an unprecedented look into the creative world of this fascinating musician, storyteller and cultural icon. It is no mere collection of memorabilia, it is a cohesive art installation and is open until August 7th. You can read our review here.
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