Anyone looking for a relaxing night out would do well to avoid seeing Kooza. The latest
Cirque du Soleil show to hit New Zealand's shores is often an anxiety inducing experience.
Petrified gasps regularly ripple through the crowd during the 150 minute show, as some of the world's best circus performers defy gravity and test the physical limits of their bodies.
Yet those who can handle the pressure will experience a captivating, gripping theatrical
experience that deftly moves between shock and beauty.
From acrobatics to the high-wire, from colourful costumes to electrifying music, Kooza is a highly immersive experience that outshines the Canadian companies past appearances in our country.
The show revolves around The Innocent, a childish loner who receives a strange package that opens to reveal The Trickster, a colourful magician who conjures up a circus world as a treat for his new companion.
However, all semblance of storyline is pushed aside once the acts begin. When the
performers are this good, the show could simply move from one to the other without any
prelude and still manage to stun and enchant.
The traditional contortion act sets the tone with a stomach-churning set, and Kooza rarely
relents from then on. It's impossible to look away from the high-wire act, while the Wheel of Death dares you to keep watching as the intolerably talented duo perform truly death-defying stunts.
To say anymore would be to spoil the surprises and lessen the shock of seeing
That's not to say it is entirely stressful. Only Cirque can so effortlessly combine stylish
sophistication with the sublimely silly; mesmerising acts of crafts well-honed are interwoven with a giant dog peeing on the audience.
The clowning interludes have been highlights in performances past, but when spliced with acts that are this graceful, bewitching and unequivocally terrifying, the humour stands out in the least ideal way.
In saying that, it's hard to fault anything about this striking spectacle. The broad comedy
succeeds in stirring up the crowd, lowering the bar before the next act catches you off-guard once again.
Kooza is something that must be seen to be believed, visually impressive and awe-inspiring in a way no other theatrical company can replicate.
What: Cirque du Soleil's Kooza
Where: Alexandra Park until March 17th