Put down that remote and pay attention. Whatever is on Netflix is going to have to wait, because this is going to be way more exciting.
Cirque du Soleil is back in town – and whether this is your first or fiftieth show, you’re going to be blown away by what’s in store.
Today marks the grand opening of Kurios, the newest Cirque du Soleil installation. Earlier this week, we were invited to spend the afternoon under the big top for a front row sneak peak of what Calgary audiences will soon experience – and it’s safe to say that you won’t be disappointed.
Cirque has brought to life a cabinet of curiosities set in a fantasia that’s one part future and one part Wild West. The costumes are a mechanical feat, the acrobatics death-defying, and you’ll even witness a totally bizarre set that includes invisible performers.
Yes, we said it: invisible.
Welcome to the wonderful world of steampunk.
What is steampunk, you ask? Envision the 1850s, and imagine the sci-fi literature of Jules Verne; an age of invention complete with locomotives, hot air balloons and other mechanical marvels but with a twist compliments of the Cirque creative team, who spent several years developing the storyline and characters.
Out of this world acts.
Start with a one-man trapeze, four contortionists who perform on a giant mechanical hand, and a human pyramid. This is just the beginning.
In addition to the usual acrobatic stunts and high-flying acts, audiences will also be treated to not one, but two show-stopping sets that are sure to wow the room.
While the first involves an upside down dinner party sequence, the second revolves around an invisible circus, complete with a high diver, a unicycle, and an invisible lion – and after our sneak peak, we believe the Cirque crew when they say that audiences “will be cheering for the invisible performers” by the end of the set.
Cirque costumes are always something to be in awe of, and this performance is no different. The Kurios costumes have been designed to resemble the accordion frames of antiquated cameras, antennas and creatures adorned in what looks like early diving apparatuses.
Most breathtaking of all is the costume of main character Mr. Microcosmos, whose garb expands into a 19-metre locomotive train and an overcoat that actually houses another small cast member.
The giant hand
We could go on for hours about the set design, including the towers built from reclaimed gramophones and turbines, but we have to talk about the giant mechanical hand.
Weighing 340 kilograms and made from various materials sourced throughout Europe, the hand takes two artists to operate and is used as the platform where four contortionists perform. After witnessing this unbelievable feat in the rehearsal, we chatted with the performers backstage who told us this act no only proved to be more technically challenging than usual, but that it took months of preparation to perfect.
Kurios runs from April 9th to May 24th. And don ‘t be late getting to your seat – the pre-show will offer several lucky audience members the chance to walk across a floating bridge and go backstage.