Friday, March 06, 2015

Only 2 more weeks to see inventive SteamPunk Cirque

The musicians of Kurios (Martin Girard shootstudio.ca)

Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities
Cirque du Soleil
Marymoor Park
Through March 22, 2015

The gorgeous acrobatic, high flying antics of top-flight, international talent combines with a steampunk aesthetic and even some invisible acts in Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities at Marymoor Park.

Kurios is the 35th production in the line of inventions known as Cirque du Soleil. Similar to other shows, there is a very loose story here that ties the evening together. But you don’t really go to Cirque shows for story, you go for atmosphere, beautiful, intricate costuming, easy to assimilate international music without real words, and death-defying acrobatic and fly work.


This show includes more inventive ideas, though, using a gorgeous 18th century steampunk aesthetic, with castiron-looking belly stove people, glass-covered clockworks and more. A young man starts the show and appears periodically, once to do an act with some amazing invisible people, including an invisible lion that gets loose in the audience, and later to invite a pretty audience member into his “living room,” where he then morphs into a giant, hair-ball producing Cat! He’s quite amusing!

A cabinet of curiosities or cabinet of wonders was the precursor in Europe to what we know as museums. Someone collected objects and toured them for people to come and gawk at, though they were not kept in one particular building. So, this show acts as a display case for you to gawk at.

There are 46 artists from 14 different countries in the show, including Antanina Satsura, one of the ten tiniest people in the world! At 39 pounds and 3.2 feet tall, this tiny, older woman adds piquancy and charm to the evening. Though gawking at her does feel a bit like what going to a “freak show” must have been like, and is a bit uncomfortable for politically correct people.

The costumery is gorgeous and intricate. There is Nico the Accordion Man (who later in the program uses his dexterous hands in a complicated and deliciously fun projected “television show” where his hand becomes a young hip hop, dancing boy) whose costume acts like a vertical accordion. It took more than a week just to create and assemble his costume alone!

The expected acrobatics come from a strongman and his tiny person, as he flings her into the air while she performs ever-more-intricate somersaults, an aerial bicyclist, a chair-balancing act like you’ve never seen, a rola bola man, a trampoline act (on a stage size trampoline), and a troupe of 13 acrobats on the ground.

And there’s also a Yo-Yo Master! Oh, and don’t forget the contortionists, these three beautiful Asian women who perform in a choreographed lovely piece. So, there really is something for everybody.