Every four years at the conclusion of the summer Olympics, I ask myself, “What do the gymnasts do after they compete on one of the world’s biggest stages?” Last weekend I answered that question: Cirque Du Soleil.
Kooza, one of the subsets of the Cirque du Soleil umbrella, arrived in Denver Aug. 20 and is showing until Oct. 4 in a tent in the parking lot of the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Kooza, a Sanskrit word meaning “treasure,” premiered in Montreal, Quebec in 2007. “[It] tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world,” according to CirqueDuSoleil.com.
Kooza is a brilliant melding of raw power, artistic beauty, visual mastery and death-defying acts. It leaves viewers speechless as they walk out of the tent, in awe of what the past two hours had in store.
The narrative is broken up by tremendous dance numbers, sections of comic relief and acrobatic acts that leave audience members with open mouths as they ask themselves if what they just saw was real. There are very few wires used in Kooza, at least until the acrobats are high enough off the ground where the price of falling would be more than a few broken bones or a sprained wrist.
Kooza features circus staples such as contortionists, trapeze artists and jugglers as well as such unorthodox acrobatic acts such as the “Wheel of Death.” This is where two men run around the inside and outside of a metal contraption shaped like the number eight as it rotates clockwise over the stage.
Other acrobatic acts include a man balancing horizontally on eight chairs stacked vertically, a semi-tango act involving a man, a woman and a unicycle and finally a series of flips, twists and turns performed by a group of men and women using momentum and a see-saw to propel each other onto and over one another.
In addition to beautiful costumes and an incredible yet minimal set design, the music, which is performed live on stage behind the action, is a phenomenal feat in composition. Composed by Jean-François Coté, the music fits well with each segment of Kooza, ranging from South Asian-inspired melodies to 1970s funk rhythms.
Directed by David Shiner, Kooza runs for about two hours with a 30-minute intermission. Tickets range from $60 to $130 for adults and $42 to $91 for children ages two to 12.
Contact CU Independent Editor Zack Shapiro at Zashapiro@colorado.edu.