BWW Review: Cirque Du Soleil's KURIOS in Dallas
KURIOS, marketed as a "cabinet of curiosities," is a remarkable fusion of new talents in an old world setting. Cleverly presented as a steampunk carnival, this performance is host to a myriad of circus caricatures. From jugglers to invisible lion tamers, the Cirque cast represents the traveling circus of days gone by with a completely new breath of mysterious air.
In quintessential Cirque style, once through the threshold the audience is greeted by a pre-show display of players in the stands. Some characters interact with the patrons, while others wander their own internal world; all are highly animated. On this particular night one high flying pilot was jetting paper airplanes into the congregation below, while a trio of misfit science apprentices coaxed a singular spectator into a vintage set of pajamas and insisted he take a nap to begin the charade.
This story is led by a presumably mad-scientist billed as a Seeker. The center-ring scene set by his tinkerings and a clock striking 11:11. With electricity crackling the air, the Seeker is zapped away into a dream world where all his curiosities become tangible. Instantly, a live band underscoring the show treks through the stands dressed as a miniature train. Lively combinations of accordion, banjo, and lilting alto notes preface the show with an atmosphere of whimsy.
Ticket prices are worth the opening act alone, Chaos Synchro 1900--a cacophony of live drum, dance, and juggling bursting forth from a steam engine really swings and astounds the senses. Further tableaus include platforms and set pieces that appear from under the tent flaps as if by magic. Comedians and contortionists alike seamlessly transition from act to act whereas one can find it impossible to pinpoint a favorite scene in this stream-of-consciousness style storyline. However, the Monde Inverse (upside down mad-hatter inspired dinner party) in act one and the Filet Grand Rebond (brimming with high flying fish) at the beginning of the second act had particular crowd appeal.
Perhaps the most impressive feat accomplished by this cast is the utilization of the stage space. The direction team is wise to rig their own venue in each new city as it gives them complete control over the technical aspects of the entire show. Acrobats and aerialists fly high, low, and round the big top with such grace and ease, just narrowly skating by scaffoldings and light rigs. There is such an acute attention to detail, but also safety, that is so keenly adhered to by all of the staff. It all boosts the mystique and calculated choreography that Cirque so deftly displays.
KURIOS is certainly a must-see, family friendly event for all those who want to laugh, shriek, and wonder in a place where time is suspended and things imagined become corporeal. Cirque du Soleil continues their stay in Grand Prairie through March 26th. There are several seating packages to choose from, and some even offer backstage tours. To purchase, go to www.cirquedusoleil.com/Dallas/KURIOS