BWW Review: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL'S KOOZA at The Big Top, Flemington Racecourse
As the years go by, Cirque du Soleil set the bar higher and higher for circus around the world. Kooza is an interesting glance backwards into a more classic and traditional time of circus.
As always the music is inspiring and transformative with nods to Bollywood, jazz, and funk. Set to these compositions by Jean-François Côté, Kooza takes us on a journey with The Innocent; a young boy-like character who is invited into a world by the majestic Trickster. Mike Tyus as The Trickster is an utter joy to watch and commands the show exceptionally well, drawing you in further and further with each scene.
The set design cements the show's throw back to the classic circus - a red sail behind the feature set piece which evokes a public square and morphs into a circus ring.
Some of the most memorable moments are the aerial hoop artist who spins faster than a cricket ball at the MCG, a burlesque chorus of dancing skeletons backing a glamorous grim-reaper ringmaster, and the incredible balance of the unicycle duo. There were two moments that had the audience gasping, screaming, and then cheering. These were the high stakes (literally) High Wire and the aptly named Wheel of Death. These acts must be seen to be believed and demonstrate the real bravery and talent of circus performers.
The famous clowns of Cirque du Soleil always add a hint of humour and narrative to the show. Kooza doesn't have the strongest narrative as many other Cirque shows that have graced our shores so while the clowns provide a small amount of comedic relief, there wasn't anything here we'd not seen before. A splash of audience participation always gets the first five rows on edge, praying it won't be them and it was no different here. Especially when this audience participation isn't clever or magical, but inappropriate and much more low brow than the show deserves.
Overall, an enjoyable and impressive night out for all ages and the highest quality of circus that Cirque du Soleil continues to bring to Aus.
Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA is on:
Melbourne - From January 20 to March 26 2017, Flemington Racecourse
Perth - From April 13 2017, Belmont Park Racecourse, Victoria Park Drive (off Farmer Freeway), Burswood
For more information and tickets, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/kooza