KOOZA, one of Cirque du Soleil’s most celebrated shows, returns to Hong Kong after 12 years. The production combines traditional elements of the circus art, like acrobatic performances and clowning, with themes of identity and power. The story follows “The Innocent” as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery in a magical and exuberant world full of surprises and eccentric characters. The title itself originates from the Sanskrit word “koza”, which means “treasure” and “chest” and relates to deeper aspects of the human experience.
“KOOZA is about human connection and the world of duality, good and bad”, says David Shiner, the show’s writer and director. “The tone is fun and funny, light and open. The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it’s very much about ideas, too.”
When we visited the iconic blue-and-yellow Bing Tent on Central’s harbour front we had the chance to explore the micro self-sufficient village behind the complex and spectacular Cirque du Soleil show. Around 120 people work on the production and pay attention to the smallest details to ensure that the artists deliver a staggering performance every night.
Artistic director Dean Harvey, a veteran of the circus art, says that the best part past of directing KOOZA is being surrounded by performers from so many different countries and cultural backgrounds. Every week, when they all meet on the “tapis rouge” (a red carpet with two sofas that serves as the 50-member cast’s meeting room) to review their numbers, 20 nationalities come together.
One of the highlights of this psychedelic homage to traditional circus art is definitely the Wheel of Death, for which two performers climb into the massive structure to perform tricks both outside and inside the wheel as it spins faster and faster.
The production first premiered in Cirque du Soleil’s hometown of Montreal in 2007 and has since been travelling the world under the Bing Tent.