(by Roman Ahsan – A content writing sample) – February 2009:
- Entertainment activities are necessary in life but we only need to strike the right balance between everything...and sadly, 'pure' fun has lost its meaning in the present times which needs to be revived....
In these days, when there is a craving for genuine entertainments, Cirque du Soleil, a modern circus based in Montreal, Canada with a dynamic set of performers is truly making a difference. The company was established in 1984 by two artists Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier who had to toil as street performers in Quebec, Canada before the circus finally became a success in 1984. Nonstop live music and a unique blend of circus styles from around the world along with Cirque’s own theme keeps the audience glued to its seats. What makes them further stand out is that all performances in this circus are staged without any animals and ring. We have been witnessing conventional routines with tigers and chimpanzees in circus themes all along; hence sole reliance on ‘human’ performances by Cirque is a striking affair. The circus offers many touring shows apart from resident shows and its workforce at present comprises 3500 employees from over 40 countries with 15 shows in every continent except Africa and Antarctica.
KOOZA is one of the big top touring shows by Cirque du soleil which premiered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on 19 April 2007. In the words of David Shiner, the Director and writer of this show who has worked as a clown in the company’s earlier project Nouvelle Expérience, “If there is any word that can describe this show, for me personally, it’s ‘fun’.” And fun it is! Performers in rich costumes with vibrant colors dance around the stage with such zeal in sequences that leave you breathless.
The theme of KOOZA revolves around The Innocent, a dejected loner who is trying to find his place in the world. The show brings two circus traditions, clowning and acrobatic performances into synthesis where the artists carry out physical acts with immaculate aesthetic vigor. In his quest, The Innocent comes across some funny characters like the King, the Trickster, the Pickpocket, not to mention the Obnoxious Tourist and his Bad Dog who jazz up the show with their respective roles.
Cirque-Du-Soleil-Kooza touring show promises themes of the unknown, recognition and authority while sifting lessons of force, vulnerability, humor and irony. The visual delights tend to totally absorb you against an electrifying aura that unravels continuous surprises while South Asian (Indian) sounds form the basis of the show’s music.
PERFORMANCE ACTS IN KOOZA:
‘Balancing on chairs’ is one of the performances in KOOZA where they entertain you simply using eight chairs and a pedestal. With the help of this plain equipment, the performer creates a 23 feet long tower upon which he carries out a balancing act that exhibits the human body in the best of muscular control.
‘Charivari’ is an act where 19 artists captivate the audience by merging acrobatics, quick dress changes and rebounds from three small trampolines. The artists execute this performance by forming human pyramids, bodies recoiling in the air and a daring dive into a circle of fabric which they call “crash bang”.
‘Contortion’ is one of the acts presented by young artists working in a smooth synchronicity to harmonize the art of contortionism. Innovative movements and positions of the performers, combined with speed and harmony as a team aim to present this feat as a masterpiece of fine arts.
In a very rhythmic style, two performers display perfect harmony ‘Hand in Hand’ while moving almost invisibly with an incredible sense of balance. In doing so, the performers employ high sensitivity and powers of meditation offering an act that synergizes with the aesthetics of natural beauty of human forms.
‘Highwire’ is an act which presents tightrope walking on two high wires crossing each other diagonally at 15 and 25 feet above the ground. Four courageous artists perform in the high altitudes adding their own tension to each rope that weigh 6,600 pounds.
When it seems that the show is slowing down, KOOZA seizes your attention again with a ‘Juggling’ act adjudged the best in the world. The performers present balls, clubs and hoops flying in exceptionally large numbers at amazing speeds and an almost impossible precision.
‘Solo Trapeze’ is yet another wonderful attraction of this show with a trapeze fixed stage left to stage right which is an innovation fashioned by Cirque. The act is stolen however not by the stage setting or the performer’s mastery but by the drama in the personalities as she relates to The Trickster adding vibrancy to the persisting visual thrills.
Artists are flung in the air from ‘Teeterboard’ where they perform multiple twisting somersaults. The acrobats execute these acts 30 feet above the stage as well with double and single metal stilts strapped to their legs.
‘Unicycle Duo’ introduces two artists that capture the audience with their dynamic balancing acts on a unicycle around the stage. The act capitalizes on acrobatic control together with superb choreographic sequences.
Daring acrobats show some astounding teamwork when they leap and counter-rotate around a 1600-pound ‘Wheel of Death’ revolving at chilling speeds. The Wheel of Death is placed stage left to stage right diagonally as in the case of Highwire.