San Francisco Theater Preview: KURIOS – CABINET OF CURIOSITIES (Cirque du Soleil U.S. Premiere)

by Tony Frankel on November 9, 2014

in Theater-New York,Theater-San Francisco / Bay Area,Tours

Post image for San Francisco Theater Preview: KURIOS – CABINET OF CURIOSITIES (Cirque du Soleil U.S. Premiere)

A CASE WHERE CURIOSITY WON’T KILL THE CAT

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the global phenomenon Cirque du Soleil arrives at San Francisco’s AT&T Park for the U.S. Premiere of its 35th production: KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities. Utilizing the Montreal-based company’s trademark astonishment and enchantment, KURIOS, which runs November 14 – January 18, 2015, has a cast of 46 artists from 13 different countries. This time, Cirque enters a late-19th century steampunk universe when human invention was at a zenith. This rousing entertainment will engage your fancy and open your mind to unlock the door to a world of wonders.

In an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where marvels abound for those who trust their imagination, a Seeker discovers that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, we must first learn to close our eyes. In his larger-than-life curio cabinet, the Seeker is convinced that there exists a hidden, invisible world—a place where the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams await.

MICROCOSMOS (Mini Lili) from Cirque du Soleiel's KURIOS - CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Photo by Martin Girard.Suddenly, a collection of otherworldly characters steps into his makeshift mechanical universe. When the outlandish, benevolent characters turn his world upside down with a touch of poetry and humor in an attempt to ignite the Seeker’s imagination, his curios jump to life one by one before his very eyes.

The characters pop out of the latter years of La Belle Époque. An authority figure, Mr. Microcosmos is the serious leader of the group. This is man as a microcosm, running on his own steam and traveling in his own self-contained, self-subsisting ecosystem. The portly Microcosmos is a kind of mechanical Obelix (a character from the French comic book series The Adventures of Asterix), but instead of holding a tiny dog in his arms, he lugs around the painter, actress and poetess Mini Lili, a small lady who represents his unconscious mind, his intuitive self, his fragile and poetic side.

KURIOS by Cirque du Soleil - Premiere POSTER

Then there is Nico the Accordion Man, a somewhat shy and awkward but extremely sensitive handyman, and Klara the Telegraph of the Invisible, who receives alpha waves by turning on her heels and pointing her hoop skirt in various directions, symbolizing our obsession with telecommunications during the golden age of the railroad when the telegraph and the gramophone were invented.

Synchronized Chaos 1900 from Cirque du Soleiel's KURIOS - CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Photo by Martin Girard.

One of the acts you will encounter is The Invisible Circus: An oddball ringmaster directs a miniature circus with invisible artists. Ranging from teeterboard to high diving to riding a unicycle on a tightrope, the acts all materialize in our minds by the sheer power of visual and sound effects – a poetic and extremely funny nod to the traditional circus arts.

INVISIBLE CIRCUS from Cirque du Soleiel's KURIOS - CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Photo by Martin Girard.

Four deep-sea creatures that embody electric eels inside the Seeker’s cabinet come to life in this stunning, fast-paced and fluid contortion act. The wriggling artists execute a series of incredible pyramids and figures at an astonishing pace using the Mechanical Hand as a platform.

CONTORTION from Cirque du Soleiel's KURIOS - CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Photo by Martin Girard.

The Acro-Net: Above a vast ocean, underwater creatures pirouette, bounce and rebound on a net that covers the entire stage. Their street-style performance is mixed with pure trampoline techniques. The net is tuned so that the artists standing on the surface can use their legs to modulate the amplitude of the bouncing motion, at times creating a slingshot effect that propels their teammates almost to the top of the big top.

ACRO NET from Cirque du Soleiel's KURIOS - CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Photo by Martin Girard.

ROLA BOLA from Cirque du Soleiel's KURIOS - CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Photo by Martin Girard.Among the many impressive design elements of this late-19th century steampunk universe are Philippe Guillotel’s astounding costumes. He explored unusual shapes that have affinities with the outfits of the Bauhaus art school and Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi to create startling and often amusing characters. During the Russian cradle duo act, the two “mechanical dancers” who emerge from a box like Fabergé jewels evoke a pair of wax dolls in a cut is inspired by early sportswear and vintage circus costumes. The costumes in the Acro-Net act are an allusion to the way film director Georges Méliès imagined Martians; hence the scales as well as the fin and fishtail grafts.

CHERCHEUR KURIOS from Cirque du Soleiel's KURIOS - CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Photo by Martin Girard.

The music for KURIOS brings a whole new sound to Cirque du Soleil with one of the most organic recordings the company has ever made. Inspired by electro-swing, jazz and the sounds of the 1930s jazz-era and Big Band, it’s as if the musicians hopped into a time machine to jam out their songs with DJs eager to manipulate traditional music.

Cirque du Soleiel's KURIOS Album Launch in San Francisco..

Composed by Raphaël Beau, Bob & Bill, and co-produced by Rob Heaney and Alain Vinet, the album will be in stores across the USA and Canada and digitally worldwide as of Dec. 9th, 2014. To celebrate the launch of the release, there will be a one-night-only themed evening in San Francisco on Dec. 10th, which includes the regular show plus an off-stage KURIOS band performance and after-party. Preview the music at Kurios Music. Here is the single “You Must Be Joking,” composed by Raphaël Beau:

Choose the VIP Experience when booking and gain entrance one hour before the show and during intermission into the KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities VIP Suite. The all-inclusive package offers the best seats under the Big Top, delectable wines and hors-d’oeuvres, a complimentary parking spot, and a host of exclusive benefits.

AERIAL STRAPS from Cirque du Soleiel's KURIOS - CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Photo by Martin Girard.photos © Martin Girard shootstudio.ca

Kurios
U.S. Premiere
Cirque du Soleil
Under the Big Top at AT&T Park
2 hours 10 minutes, with 25-minute intermission
plays November 14 – January 18, 2015
opens January 29, 2015 in Seattle, WA
for tickets call 800-450-1480 or visit KURIOS

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rhonda Rob Kehrli December 6, 2014 at 1:47 pm

we saw it last night ….. what a “great show”… Thank you*

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Jean Kaelin December 15, 2014 at 5:53 pm

This is the third Cirque production I have seen over the years. This one is by far the most amazing, creative, stunning production to date. Unbelievable.
Give yourself the gift of seeing this production.

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