Review – Kooza: Hits all the buttons
Cirque du Soleil
Brisbane Airport (near DFO)
Season: 24 November 2016 to 8 January 2017. Bookings: at www.cirquedusoleil.com/kooza or by phone on toll free 1800 036 685.
Kooza, the latest Cirque du Soleil production to reach Brisbane, hits all the buttons with superb gymnastics, stunning costumes, live music, and exceptionally skilled performers.
It opens with the usual razzmatazz and amazing tumbling from the cast and then just when you think you’ve seen every act possible after watching so many circus-styled shows Cirque du Soleil returns to prove you wrong.
The teeter board is dragged on stage and acrobats are tossed high into the Big Top doing all sorts of precision tricks. That I have seen many times before but never with someone on stilts! That was just incredible and absolutely impossible.
Watching the girl on two metre high silts being tossed into the air, do several somersaults and then land on the mat the right way up was a head-shaking moment.
It was the same with the hula hoop act. What more could be done with a few hoops and a twisting body? Plenty it seemed, even to the point of one-handed juggling, swinging hoops on body, arms, legs and feet at the same time. She was amazing.
On a hoop of a different kind was Queenslander Lisa Skinner the Albany Creek born, world class gymnast and Olympian did some marvellous things on the Aerial Hoop.
Like all Cirque du Soleil shows Kooza has a storyline. It follows the adventures of a sad little character known as the Innocent (Vladislav Zolotarev). He was a pathetic creature who couldn’t even fly his kite, but was led in his adventure when the Trickster (Joey Arrigo) leaps out of a mysterious box and introduces him to a world of magic. Then when he gains control of the magic wand he becomes as tricky as the Trickster but works his way to a moving finale.
He enters a world of skeletons, show-girls and other weird and wonderful creatures all dressed in fabulous costumes.
I always marvel at contortionists and the way they can manipulate their bodies into the oddest of positions, but so often it make me feel uncomfortable to watch them, but not this time however. A trio of contortionists entered locked together like Chinese puzzle. They unravelled slowly and the, performed a series of beautiful and so elegant movements that emphasised strength and agility rather than bone twisting movements. I loved the act.
The show also contained one of my favourite acts – the Wheel of Death in which two men, Jimmy Ibarra and Ronald Solis, show brute strength and stomach tightening bravery as they work the pair of metal wheels to swing round and round high above the stage while they perform terrifying stunts inside and outside the wheels with no wire attachments. It’s a scary show but I love it.
Then there is a double high wire act, which sees four men (Vincente Quiros Dominguez, Roberto Quiros Dominguez, Flouber Sanchez and Brayhan Sanchez Munoz) do some terrific balancing including, skipping, duelling with swords, and even ride bicycles across a tight rope
Of course the show has clowns. Gordon White is the very funny funny Clown King and his thick henchmen, played by Miguel Berlanga and Michael Garner, play a comedy trio much like the Three Stooges, with slapstick, mock violence and playing naughty games with audience volunteers .
As usual the time sped by and like the rest of a highly appreciative audience left feeling happy.
But a word of warming on getting there: We were held up on Airport Drive for 30 minutes to get into the DFO car park at Skygate. The reason: cars were being charged $10 each to park in tie normally free car park. Two people at our entrance stopped EVERY car to take the money.
We had left plenty of time to get to the venue but only just made it inside before the show began. I guess we were lucky because the queue behind us stretched back to the M1 freeway and it was then that the collectors decided to give up and let everyone in for free.
I thought it a bit rude to charge for perking in the first place, let alone being stressed by being held up in a kilometre long traffic jam for 30 minutes because of it.