Cirque Du Soleil returns to San Diego with KOOZA
Cirque du Soleil has returned to San Diego with its critically acclaimed big top production KOOZA. Presented by iShares, KOOZA premiered on Feb. 25 for a limited engagement through March 28 under the trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
The Los Angeles Times noted KOOZA to be “a thrilling spectacle jam-packed with white-knuckle acrobatic moments.”
The KOOZA production has 53 artists from 16 countries traveling with 120 staff in total with the artists representing 22 countries. Cirque do Soleil hires approximately 150 to 200 locals for the duration of the San Diego run for such positions as front of house, wardrobe, kitchen, security and concessions.
Perched at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, the Grand Chapiteau stands 66 feet high, 167-feet in diameter and is supported by four masts, each 80-feet tall. The Big Top seats 2,555 people in a climate-controlled environment.
The Big Top raising requires a team of approximately 80 people. Cirque du Soleil hires 100 to 120 locals to help with the set-up and load out of the entire “village,” which is transported from city to city in 50 tractor trailers — more trailers than the Rolling Stones uses to tour.
KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil that combines two circus traditions — acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor. The name KOOZA is inspired by the Sanskrit word “koza,” which means “box,” “chest” or “treasure,” and was chosen because one of the underlying concepts of the production is the idea of a “circus in a box.”
“KOOZA is about human connection and the world of duality, good and bad,” says the show’s writer and director, David Shiner. “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. As it evolves we are exploring concepts such as fear, identity, recognition and power.”
The new production starts with “The Trickster” bursting onto the scene like a jack-in-a-box right in front of “The Innocent,” and that is just the first of many surprises to follow. The Innocent’s journey brings him into contact with panoply of comic characters such as “The King,” The Trickster, “The Heimloss,” “The Pickpocket,” “The Obnoxious Tourist” and his “Bad Dog.” The show is set in an electrifying and exotic visual world full of surprises, thrills, chills, audacity and total involvement.
Cirque du Soleil has performed to almost 90 million spectators in over 200 cities on five continents. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009. From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, the company is now a major Quebec-based organization. The company has more than 4,000 employees from over 40 different countries, including 1,000 performing artists.
Tickets for San Diego’s KOOZA engagement are available at (800) 450-1480 or online at cirquedusoleil.com/kooza.