Behind-the-Scenes at Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA
Vicki Powers on
August 31, 2012
I had the amazing opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Houston’s run of Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA. The experience was incredible, enlightening, and unforgettable. It’s amazing what goes into each production — which changes with each performance.
Here are a few highlights:
1. This Cirque production has 23 nationalities with the entire crew, and 17 nationalities for the artists.
2. The largest ball weighs 400 pounds (image 6).
3. Artists do their own make up, which takes about one hour. The Trickster completes his make up in 90 minutes!
4. The crew and artists live in a local hotel. They eat lunch and dinner at the tent site, which is cooked by four chefs from France, Austria, Argentina, and Canada. The menu is never the same. The colored spots represent healthy (green), OK (yellow) and fat (red) as listed on the daily menu (image 8).
5. Costumes are washed and dryed each night. An employee spends six hours ironing them the next day. Wigs, feathers and other costume accessories are styled and retouched daily (image 3).
6. The Cirque performances hire about 100 people locally while in the town. They like to help stimulate employment. These types of jobs are security, ushers, concessions, massage therapists, wardrobe, runners, and such.
7. Two hours before the show, they decide the line up and distribute costumes as a result. It changes each night. The performers are human and may need a break. Everyone is always in the show, whether it’s the costumed dog, police officer, etc.
8. Artists practice based on their job. High wire artists practice 45 minutes every other day. The trapeze artist practices 45 minutes twice a week. The training is to practice basics or learn a new trick. It’s not to do the difficult stunts from the show. The audience never sees the same show. It’s always improving.
9. There are about 1,000 pieces in wardrobe and 200 props. Two women were sewing jackets when I was there. The artists move so much throughout the performance because there are always repairs to be made.
10. I had my photo with an artist, Denis Polyanskiy, from Kazahstan, who performs in the Teeterboard and Charivari (image 5). He spoke English well!
The KOOZA tour will leave Houston September 9 and head to Dallas and St. Petersburg, Florida. Then it will spend three years in Europe!
Discount tickets are still available to three performances: September 5, 6, and 7:
$45-$57 ($75-$95 reg.). Go online to Stubdog here to get these tickets. A service charge is added per ticket ($6.50-$7.50 each), as is usual with any ticket outlet. This is a limited offer with just a few seats per date.
Additional performances are available here.
Thanks to the Cirque du Soleil publicist and my local PR friend Ali for making this amazing adventure available to me!