Not just clowning around
Mad Max movies, Gustav Klimt paintings and tin soldiers; jazz, funk, and Bollywood beats – three seemingly disparate sources of inspiration, woven together to a soundtrack of equally diverse musical genres. It shouldn’t work, but it does, and the fantastical world that results is Kooza, the latest Cirque du Soleil production to hit town.
At helm in this world is the Trickster, a charmer, a schemer, and the creator of Kooza. He opens the show by pouncing out of a jack-in-the-box box on the unsuspecting Innocent, and lures the latter into the magical world he has created, leaving the naive Innocent beguiled and bewildered. In Kooza, the Innocent is introduced to a colourful cast of memorable characters. There is The King, the king of fools, with tousled hair and a crown that refuses to stay put on his head symbolising his struggle to effectively rule his deranged subjects. He is accompanied by the Court Clowns, his duo of foolish footmen. Equally insane is The Mad Dog, an animal that refuses to be tamed, but who is mysteriously drawn to The Innocent, and endears itself to him. Beneath the stage lurks Heimloss, a steampunk robot mechanic that works the machines to keep Kooza running.
These eccentrics tell the story of Kooza, but no Cirque du Soleil world would be complete without the regulars – acrobats who perform death-defying stunts that push the limits of human physical ability. Highlights include the Teeterboard, which flings artists into the air so they can execute quintuple twisting somersaults while airborne, and the famed Wheel of Death, an apparatus that comprises two human-sized ‘hamster wheels’ balanced in the centre on an axle. These wheels are kept in rotation by two daredevils, who use their body weight to make them turn clockwise or counter-clockwise at speeds of up to 40km/h while skipping rope, leaping, and hanging off the edges.
Like all Cirque du Soleil productions, the show goes above and beyond the expectations of a conventional circus and combines art and theatre into a stunning visual feast. Costume designer Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt has created 175 costumes and 160 hats – each of which is custom-fitted with a portable scanner and 3D printer to the performer who wears it. Set designer Stephane Roy has devised a cleverly designed moving tower named the Bataclan, which changes the configuration of the stage as it moves. Flanked by two curved staircases and a bandstand, the tower is bedecked in ornamentation inspired by Indian jewellery.
The production is playing in Singapore from now till the end of August. To enjoy 20 per cent off all shows, simply click here to make your booking. This promotion lasts until 12 August, 2359 hrs.
Cirque du Soleil
Beside The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands