cirque du soleil review


I have always been fascinated by circus shows and you can imagine my excitement when we were invited to the opening premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA. Located under the noticeable-from-afar blue and yellow Big Top Tent just beside Marina Bay Sands, KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world. 

A return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil, KOOZA combines two circus traditions; an acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendour and fragility, presented in a colourful mélange that emphasises bold slapstick humour.

There are ten acrobatic acts, supplemented by other minor acts that develop the storyline and 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 show starts with the Trickster bursting onto the scene like a jack-in-the-box in front of The Innocent, and that’s just the first of many surprises to come. The Innocent’s journey brings him into contact with a panoply of comic characters such as the King, the Trickster, the Heimloss, the Obnoxious Tourist and his Bad Dog.

Between strength and fragility, laughter and smiles, turmoil and harmony, KOOZA explores themes of identity, recognition and power. The show is set in an electrifying and exotic visual world full of surprises, thrills, chills, audacity and total involvement. No amount of words can truly define and clearly articulate the immersive experience that I had when watching KOOZA because it is by far the most enjoyable circus performance that I have watched. I was so absorbed with the clever storytelling by the six primary characters who are central to the narrative and I felt like I was on an emotional roller-coaster ride; one where I experienced fear, insecurity, thrill, warmth, joy, hope, and sadness (especially when the show ended all too soon). 

Fun Facts

  • KOOZA has more than 175 costumes and 160 hats. Counting all of the shoes, props, wigs and such, the total number of wardrobe pieces is 1,080.
  • The stage has one major component, a traveling tower dubbed the “bataclan.” The decoration for the bataclan is inspired by Hindu culture, Pakistani buses and Indian jewelry. The large fabric structure behind the bataclan is organic in nature, as it’s printed with a motif resembling the internal structure of leaves.


Although there are many performers in KOOZA, there are six primary characters who are central to the narrative:

    • The Trickster: Created the world that is KOOZA for the Innocent.
    • The Innocent: Is eager to learn about the world he is in, yet discovers many unexpected things.
    • The King: Plays the king of fools, and is seen with his sidekicks, the clowns.
    • Clowns: The two court clowns are the King’s footmen.
    • Heimloss: Is in charge of all the mechanical machinery in KOOZA.
    • The Bad Dog: The dog is not trained at all, but does become drawn to the Innocent and becomes his companion.

    Acrobatic Acts

    1. Charivari: The first act in the show sees the house troupe creating human towers, and using other circus apparatus such as a Chinese pole.

    2. Contortion: A trio use balance, strength and flexibility in this jaw dropping feat of contortion.

    3. Aerial Hoop: A lone performer performs with an aerial hoop.

    4. Unicycle Duo: A couple waltz on a unicycle, the woman balances on top of the man while he simultaneously rides the unicycle.

    5. Double Highwire: A quartet walk a high wire using props such as bicycles, a chair and even fencing swords.

    6. Wheel of Death: Arguably the most dangerous act in the show, it involves a pendulum with two hamster wheel like walkways at each end. On these walkways two performers jump, leap and skip rope inside and even outside the wheel.

    7. Hoop Manipulation: A high caliber hoops act, Irina Akimova weaves spinning hoops around her body.

    8. Balancing On Chairs: A large stack of chairs that tower on the stage are put to the test by an artist who performs a balancing act at the top of the pile.

    9. Teeterboard: The final act in the show, it is performed by the house troupe. In this act a performer stands on one end of the teeter board until they are sent flying up by two performers who land on the opposite end. The performer somersaults and lands onto a mat or a tower of people, sometimes the performer even wears stilts.

    10. Cyr Wheel: Used as a back-up; One person spins and rotates while in a large metal ring.


    Do book your tickets early through SISTIC as they are expected to sell out pretty fast and KOOZA will only be here in Singapore till 20 August 2017. Ticket prices start from SGD$88 and there are discounts available if you are a DBS/POSB Card Holder or if you go for the Family Package. For more information about ticket prices and ticket availability, click here!

    (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({
    google_ad_client: “ca-pub-8988049446545207”,
    enable_page_level_ads: true

    It wasn’t my first time to a circus performance but it was definitely my first to watch a circus performance by Cirque Du Soleil. Entitled, “Totem”, the touring show by Cirque Du Soleil depicts the evolution of humanity from its primordial, amphibian state toward the aspiration of flight, taking inspiration from many of humanity’s founding myths.

    To some, circus performances may seem to be the same but what is really unique about Totem is that there is a storyline behind every acrobatic acts. The acrobatic acts were at times mystical but also thrilling and a delight to watch. Every heart-stopping stunts were well-synchronised with the live music performed by the band and it is no surprise that all the performers received an overwhelming standing ovation from the audience during the finale.

    The costumes used in the performance were intricately designed and they were inspired by Mother Nature. Interactive projection technologies are used in the show to enhance and provide variety to the types of scenes created for Totem, including swamps, starry nights, lakes, volcanos, and other natural environments.

    If you are going to watch Totem by Cirque Du Soleil, here are some fun facts that you might want to look out for during the show!

    Fun Fact #1
    The Crystal Man’s stretch velvet leotard is encrusted with nearly 4,500 reflective components; 4,001 are mirror fragments. This costume is the show’s heaviest, weighing nearly four kilograms.

    Fun Fact #2
    During the Scientist’s juggling act, he uses balls made with 96 red, 96 blue, and 96 green LED lights inside. The colours are changed remotely by show technicians during the performance.

    Fun Fact #3
    A major component of the set is the “scorpion bridge”, which functions as an entrance at times. It is made of 4,500 kg of steel and has eight mineral oil hydraulic motors which allow it to move in three dimensions.

    Quoting what a friend of mine shared, “Singapore always do have great shows from time to time” and truly, this is one show that you do not want to miss because it is not every time that we have a circus performance by Cirque Du Soleil here in Singapore. In fact, the last time they were here to perform in Singapore was in 2005; exactly one decade (ten years) ago.

    Tickets to Totem by Cirque Du Soleil starts from SGD$98 and if you’re a Mobile One (M1) Subscriber, you can get a 15% discount off the ticket prices. Just present the M1 logo on your mobile phone or your M1 mobile phone bill when purchasing your tickets at the SISTIC counters.

    If you can afford to spend more but don’t want to burn a big hole in your pockets and still get a best view of the performance, we recommend that you get the CAT 4 tickets with seats in block 103 and 104.

    One thing that we feel Cirque Du Soleil could improve on is to increase the distance and space between each seats so that it will be more comfortable for the audience.

    Well, watching a circus performance by Cirque Du Soleil should definitely be one of your bucket list of things-to-do in your lifetime. Have you got that checked? If not, hurry and book your tickets as the touring show by Cirque Du Soleil will only be here till 6 December 2015!