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Sunday, December 16, 2007


We went to see Kooza, Cirque de Soleil's newest show, last Friday.

Watching this performance was like seeing a dream come to life. The attention to detail--from the gorgeous costumes and makeup--to the live music, sets and lighting (thought of you, Ms. Red Shoes) enhances the already amazing performances and makes this a spectacle you don't want to end.

From CdS's website, here is a brief description of the show:

KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world.

KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor.

The Innocent's journey brings him into contact with a panoply of comic characters such as the King, the Trickster, the Pickpocket, and the Obnoxious Tourist and his Bad Dog.

Between strength and fragility, laughter and smiles, turmoil and harmony, KOOZA explores themes of fear, identity, recognition and power. The show is set in an electrifying and exotic visual world full of surprises, thrills, chills, audacity and total involvement.

My favorite part of the show was the performance of the three amazing contortionists, a young trio known as the "Magic Pixies." Which describes them perfectly. These gorgeous creatures wear body suits richly colored in gold and red, and perform their astonishing act on a dais that rotates. They are like living, flowing sculptures. They reminded me of dainty cloisonné scorpions, pretty yet powerful and strong.

The first clip below gives you a partial view of their act with clear footage and sound.

The second clip, which doesn't have the same production values, does showcase their entire routine (it starts at 2:42).

Part of what is so amazing to me are the ages of these fantastic performers: 11, 15 and 16. The youngest, Natasha Patterson, is a local girl from just over the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.

The equally talented trapeze artist who performs before this trio is seventeen years old and speaks 5 or 6 languages. I think it's wonderful that some people are getting such an amazing jumpstart on life, and seem to be enjoying their talents and gaining a greater sense of the world, much more than most people ever will. In an age where many people yearn to be famous, but not necessarily talented, it's refreshing to see that for some young people, the love and dedication to what they do brings happiness and also recognition.

(Some tango-related topics in this vein include Danzarin's recent post, Johanna's post, and mine, the subjects of which also show that age is no barrier to talent.)

If you have an opportunity to see Kooza (the schedule is posted on the website link above), you should definitely do so. I think you'll be transported, fascinated and have a great time.


Debbi December 17, 2007 at 1:59 PM  

I have always wanted to work for Cirque du Soleil!!! But they are VERY hard to get work with, and even harder if you are not Quebecois. But just imagine the designing.... wonderful!

tangobaby December 17, 2007 at 4:31 PM  

Someday, Debbi, someday. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. I would think that would be a dream job for a costume designer!

studio wellspring December 17, 2007 at 4:44 PM  

oh my ~ i cannot wait to go in january!!

Red shoes December 18, 2007 at 9:13 AM  

>Thought of you, Ms. Red Shoes

Yay! CdS is so far beyond where I see myself theatrically, in terms of scale, but it's such glory to watch. Over-the-top at all times--and I think of that as a good thing!

tangobaby December 18, 2007 at 5:26 PM  

Ms. Red Shoes,

I saw your last play and the lighting looked amazing. There's nothing I saw at Kooza that you couldn't do, too. I'm sure of it. They just had more lights, that's all!

In general, isn't over-the-top usually a good thing? I agree with you.


Eva December 19, 2007 at 8:19 PM  

I've been a huge fan of CDS for a long time. Actually got invited to do a vocal audition for them once five or six years ago. Unfortunately, I wasn't what they needed at the time but nevertheless, it was an amazing experience to meet some of the creative team. I wish I was in SF to catch Kooza. Those contortionists are truly moving works of art.

tangobaby December 20, 2007 at 2:07 PM  


That is amazing that you have that connection with CdS. I didn't know you were a singer! I hope they call you back again someday.

There was a great series on Bravo or E! a few years ago about the behind the scenes/making of a Cirque show. I don't remember which one it was but you can get it on DVD. It was absolutely riveting. Talk about reality TV! This was definitely worth spending hours in front of the TV. You would enjoy it very much.

Also, Kooza is coming to Boston sometime in 2008, so maybe that's not too far for you to go? (I have no concept of commutes on the East Coast so please forgive me if that is a silly idea.)


Eva December 20, 2007 at 9:59 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eva December 20, 2007 at 10:00 PM  

I use to sing professionally some years ago. I think I saw a behind the scenes special for one of their shows but will definitely check out this series. Boston is about 3 and a half hours driving distance from NYC. I might try to make a weekend trip out there for the show. Thanks for the heads up TB!
I do hope you're feeling better. ; >

tangobaby December 21, 2007 at 9:26 AM  

Hi Eva,

Am I biased or are tango dancers in general an extra talented group of people? How wonderful to have the talent of singing as well as dancing.

I did my homework on that series I mentioned. It was on Bravo in 2003 and it's called Cirque du Soleil Fire Within. Here is a link to a review: http://www.slate.com/id/2079648

If you can find it on DVD, it's definitely worth watching.

And I am feeling better, thank you! I hope you are over your cold as well. Here's to a healthy holiday for all of us. ;-)