Cirque du Soliel’s Vancouver show wows
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
This year’s opening Cirque du Soleil performance encourages you to run away to the circus and unleash your inner child.
Kurios is based on the “cabinet of curiosities” of Renaissance Europe. These cabinets held a wide array of objects—which, during that time, were yet to be categorized. These eclectic collections of gadgets, gizmos, and stuff found in the natural world included anything from dragon’s blood to real animals that Europeans did not have names for. These collections became what we know today as the modern museum.
Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios takes this idea as the basis for its story. According to Cirque du Soleil’s website, the show’s storyline follows “an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and dimension in order to reinvent everything around him.” On his journey, he encounters deep-sea creatures that contort in unimaginable ways, a three-foot, three-inch tall woman named Mini Lili, and a variety of other fantastical and interesting characters and scenes.
Saying that the Cirque’s props are key to its show this year would be a complete and total understatement. A record 426 props are used during the two-hour show. This is the most that the Cirque has used in one performance during its entire 35 years in business!
The costume and set design have influences of steampunk that set the atmosphere. Depicting a fictional era where robots meet with the power of steam engines, the Cirque creates one of the most iconic set and costume designs I have ever come across. Performers wear gramophones as hats, submarine parts as body armour, and accordion-inspired hats and bodysuits. This adds to the overall concept of being in an entirely fantastical world that modern day viewers would know nothing about.
What I particularly loved about the show is how music is incorporated into every act. Their live band plays in the background while the Greek singer Eirini Tornesaki appears in different locations all over the stage. The acrobatics, drumming, tapping, juggling, and even yo-yoing all follow the rhythm of the music that ties it all together—transforming it into a performance, rather than just a bunch of flips. It causes you to fall into the rhythm, which makes it all the more enticing as you watch—and listen—for what is to come next.
The acrobatics will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s both terrifying and exhilarating watching the performers launch themselves across the stage. Kurios delivers on its promise of defying the laws of space as the acrobats jump from impossibly high heights, managing to flip and twist and live to tell the tale. My personal favourite involved a giant fishing-net-turned-trampoline and several of the most daring sea creatures you’ll ever have the chance to witness.
Moreover, just as any good circus would have, there are some hilarious skits involving an invisible circus and a not-so professional ringmaster. It is refreshing whenever the skits play out and helps to break up the more dramatic set pieces. At this point of the performance, there is an interactive portion where one lucky audience member is able to join the ringmaster on stage for further laughs and giggles.
Kurios is in town until December 31 at Concord Pacific Place, so make sure to get tickets soon because they sell out fast!