With its 35th original presentation arriving in Toronto, Cirque du Soleil has proven creativity, not necessity, is the mother of all invention. Not only does KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities, a dazzling microcosm of the imagination, signal a refined direction for the company but with established theatre maker Michel Laprise behind the project, loyalists should have seen this coming a mile away.
That’s because before you can even find a seat inside the Grand Chapiteau questions ensue as to where the ‘steampunk’ themed journey begins. Are we in the past? Are we in the future? Or is this an apparition of the present?
Regardless of the answer, just sit back and get ready for the most theatrically engaging creation since 2005’s Cortéo.
Profoundly wondrous, delightfully unexpected and sentimentally stirring, KURIOS lends itself to the idea that worlds we don’t fully comprehend are paramount to explore. In fact no other piquant premise from the Cirque repertoire has ever taken audiences to such a whimsical terrain driven by eccentric characters that warmly embrace good ol’ fashion comedy.
Yet the acro-artistry is such that nothing has been left out in this show musically mobilized by a touch of jazz, a splash of swing, and a bit of lively choreography.
The blissful fun starts off with an incredible feat of aerial juggling and invisible tight rope cycling. This transitions to a bronze mechanical hand where four mind-bending contortionists take human elasticity to new heights.
But you ain’t seen nothing yet until an upside down dinner party and a high wire ‘rolla bolla’ balancing act that follow.
All of which leads up to a visually stimulating segment relying on live projection of hand puppetry and a hot air balloon ride you’ll not soon forget.
As the show inches toward a conclusion with a trampoline exploit giving tumblers a four story lift through the air, you’re left with the impression that the dawning of a new era—conceptual or technological—is forever a welcomed event. KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities is a glowing gesture that underscores the true value of forward thinking.
Review by Steven Berketo
KURIOS – CABINET OF CURIOSITIES Aug. 28 – Oct. 19, 2014 THE GRAND CHAPITEAU AT THE PORTLANDS, Cherry Street, Toronto TICKETS $50.00 – $150.00 1-877-653-4401 www.cirquedusoleil.com WRITER AND DIRECTOR Michel Laprise DIRECTOR OF CREATION Chantal Tremblay COSTUMES Philippe Guillotel COMPOSER AND MUSICAL DIRECTOR Raphael Beau COMPOSERS AND MUSICAL DIRECTORS Bob & Bill CHOREOGRAPHER Yaman Okur ACROBATIC CHOREOGRAPHER Ben Potvin and Andrea Ziegler CHOREOGRAPHER Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Susan Gaudreau SOUND DESIGNER Jacques Boucher, Jean-Michel Caron LIGHTING DESIGNER Martin Labrecque ACROBATIC PERFORMANCE DESIGNER Rob Bollinger, Germain Guillemot, Boris Verkhovsky MAKEUP DESIGNER Eleni Uranis