Making a comeback into Toronto since its premiere back in 2007, KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil. It combines a mix of vibrant and captivating performances that blend acrobatics, theatrical storytelling and the art of clowning. Having watched several Cirque shows in the past, I was particularly excited to see this production.
As I walked into the Big Top and grabbed my seat, I was instantly mesmerized by the set production and design… and this was just the beginning. As a viewer, you’re transported into a world of wonder and enchantment. The beauty of the Big Top is that no matter where you’re sitting, you have the “best seat in the house”.
What is KOOZA?
KOOZA is an innovative journey viewed through the perspective of The Innocent, an endearing yet naïve clown looking for his place in this world. The show begins with The Innocent receiving an unexpected delivery in the form of a big, red box – think jack-in-the-box but better. Hiding inside is the enigmatic trickster, acting as The Innocent’s consciousness. The Innocent is then transported into a bizarre but exotic universe taking the audience with him.
The Trickster guides the show as he takes The Innocent through a journey of self-discovery. All of the acts are examples of exploring oneself through trial and error. The show explores the themes of strength, fragility, laughter, turmoil and harmony.
Each theme is brought to life via performances by skilled contortionists, aerialists, trapezists, and more. All stunts are executed with precision, strength, and grace, leaving you in awe of the performers’ abilities. The tightrope juggling, Wheel of Death and the jaw-dropping chair-balancing acts had everyone in utter amazement.
Broken into two segments with a short intermission in between, KOOZA is a show full of surprises that has you at the edge of your seat. To provide comedic relief between acts, the show incorporates an enchanting trio of clowns: a King and his two sidekicks who help add moments of laughter and light-heartedness to the overall experience. Audience interaction is always a vital part of all Cirque shows and the trio does a great job of involving the audience.
Without giving the full show away, each act kept getting progressively intense (in the best way). As a viewer, you are transported into The Innocent’s reality, feeling the same range of emotions that he’s feeling with each act.
As The Innocent uncovers the meaning of life, the show ends on a wholesome note with a spectacular finale. No surprise, a standing ovation was in order.
Cirque du Soleil is known for creating a memorable and transformative experience and KOOZA is no exception. The thrilling acrobatics, dazzling costumes, intricate set designs and live music with influences from around the world created a truly immersive experience. There’s a reason why it’s been around for all these years and I’m grateful to have gotten the chance to see it for the first time myself here in Toronto. KOOZA now files under one of my favourite Cirque shows. A show for all age groups, you don’t want to miss it!