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This inspiring troupe specialises in those much needed 'WOW' moments. The Company that left our jaws open with 'Totem', has currently eighteen different shows running worldwide. Each show produced at a level of brilliance worthy of your attention.
Whether they are gracefully soaring through the air performing death-defying stunts or hilariously clowning around the cast is sure not only to amaze you but to move you.
Cirque Du Solei will raise its 56 feet high, climate controlled Big Top in Brisbane, November 24th 2016 through to January 8th 2017 introducing Brisbane to KOOZA!
The name KOOZA comes from the Sanskrit word "koza," which means "box," "chest" or "treasure." The show's underlying concept is the idea of a Circus in a box.
The show follows The Innocent through KOOZA, a world created by The Trickster. Along the way he comes into contact with a collection of humorous characters such as the King, the Trickster, the Heimloss, the Obnoxious Tourist and his Bad Dog. To say the least, his journey is full of surprises.
KOOZA first premiered in Montréal, Canada, in 2007. It has dazzled more than 6 million people since its inception in 47 cities and finally arrives in Brisbane with a string of rave reviews:
"KOOZA is about celebrating the raw power of extreme acrobatics and eternal appeal of the clown. And it does both with breathtaking beauty and humour… it's simply a jaw-dropping night out." The Daily Telegraph
"Spell-binding feats have you gasping… remarkable acrobatic and other physical skills wrapped up in a slick, lavish staging… the performers are exceptional". The Sunday Telegraph
"KOOZA delivers in all areas…never fails to elicit gasps from the audience… packs a thrill of danger… the final scene is as touching as anything I've seen from this company." Sydney Morning Herald
I had the very good fortune to speak to Chris Houston the Assistant Artistic Director of KOOZA. With a repertoire of styles that span the full spectrum of dance and theatre performance, Chris is an accomplished Performer, Choreographer and Director.
Q: Chris, you started your career as a competitive acrobat in Scotland and now you are the Assistant Artistic Director of KOOZA. Do you ever pinch yourself just to make sure it's real?
Yes absolutely. Everyone is always gearing you towards science, mathematics or technology courses but I guess I always like to say that a career in the arts is possible.
You know I am surrounding by people everyday at work that have gone through theatre training, stage management training or acrobatics. They now find themselves working for this phenomenal company, travelling the world and doing what we love every day, so we are very lucky and very grateful.
Q: You have been working on this particular show all year, has it evolved at all? I imagine that KOOZA is a different show to what it was back in 2007?
A: That's a great question in fact, it's one of the global questions this Circus is always asking itself. How can we make this current, how can we make this better?
So in fact, Cirque in the past year that I have been here has changed. Not majorly but we have added different elements, different acts. We have refreshed some acts so that we are always pushing the boundaries of what the human body can do and what technology can do.
Even though KOOZA is a hark back to 1984 when Cirque first came on to the scene with acrobatics and clowning, we are revisiting that with what is possible today. With today's technology, and with the updated lighting and acts.
What these performers are doing these days compared to thirty years ago, its really jaw dropping. It's incredible to see how far Circus arts has come and Cirque Du Soleil celebrates that.
Q: You have worked in a range of Productions, I have to admit the fact you worked with Celine Dion made me do a real girly high pitch sequel, but my point is that you have been exposed to different parts of your industry. How is working with Cirque de Soleil different than working in any other production?
We really are like a small travelling village. When the public comes to see the show everything that they see when they step on to the site gets packed in a box and has to get moved to the next city. We are a large part of that equation, it is us that do the packing, it us that do the tearing down and setting up. It is definitely a change from the multimillion dollar purpose built theatres that we performed in Vegas. But I love it, it keeps it fresh. It creates a fantastic sense of family and community and everyone is not afraid to get their hands dirty.
Q: Most kids threaten their parents at one point or another with running away to join the circus. What is circus life really like?
It changes every day, especially for someone in my position. We are a travelling tent, we deal with technical changes and changes of the weather. We deal with people getting sick from travelling or injured. So every day when I turn up on site it's a different day. Different challenges that are faced and different problems arise and we have to find solutions. Really that is the crazy part of it, but if you are looking for a job where you turn up and do the same thing every day, then life on the road with the circus is not for you.
Q: I believe every story has message or a lesson. What do you hope the audience takes away from their KOOZA experience?
A: We are hoping that everyone leaves somewhat transcended you know? That you come to this show and you're surrounded by this incredible talent, it does have a good message. We want people to leave feeling like they have been moved in some way or another.
What's special about KOOZA is that it kind of touches the inner child. It's great for families because it's fun for the kids, but it is a good reminder of your childhood innocence. A reminder of what it is like to grow up and experience the world for the first time.
When people leave we are just hoping that they are moved and that they are reminded that life is still about growing up.