Are you curious about Cirque’s latest show Kurios?

Kurios Grand Chapiteau

I had the opportunity to see Cirque du Soleil’s newest touring show Kurios.  I’m a huge fan of Cirque shows and this was my 8th or 9th show I’ve seen, so my opinion of them at this point may be a little bias.

I’m split about half and half on their touring shows and those with permanent residences, most of which are in Las Vegas. One thing I’ve noticed is that the touring acts “Under the Grand Chapiteau” are very similar to those with a permanent residence whereas the arena shows in my opinion just lack that little bit extra in my opinion.

Luckily Kurios is one of those touring acts under the Grand Chapiteau and it’s one of Cirque’s weirdest and most entertaining shows I’ve seen in a few years.  The design of the set is that of a nineteenth century steampunk scientist. The stage is flanked by large globes with some kind of sea creatures inside them that move around when they light up, presumably powering the scientist’s inventions.  There’s a track around the outside ridge that has vacuum tube lights that move around it and numerous gramophone like devices are dotted around the stage.

While the audience was getting seated, the stage was set up as a laboratory where the scientist was working with his robotic companions (which I later learned are called Kurios). The usual crowd work happens during this time where some characters will wander the crowds and interact with the audience, so if you’re on the edge of a row, you might end up being one of the stars of the preshow.

The opening performance was a very large production with maybe two dozen performers in total showcasing a variety of skills. The two main parts of the opening was some artistic drumming on table tops and different pieces of luggage and a juggler.  In true Cirque fashion they take two simple acts and add a lot of flair and tricks to make them extremely entertaining. At the end of the opening act the scientist hops on his giant chair and is whisked away on his adventure.

The next  performance was a Russian Cradle which came out on to stage contained in a box and started with an electric shock as if bring these performers to life.  Following that we saw a lady on her bicycle come onto the stage and take off into the air for some aerial acrobatics you would see normally(if you see acrobats normally) on a single trapeze.

The next act was the classic Cirque “clown” who came out with his miniature circus of invisible performers. It was a very entertaining one man show with timed props and sound effects. He had lion taming of his invisible lion Felipe, a high diving act(if you came to see a high divin’ act you ain’t gonna see a high divin’ act), a unicycle on a tight rope and more. It was a very well time laugh fest to break up the other impressive performances surrounding it.

When the lights came up back after the invisible circus left the stage there was a giant mechanical hand on the stage with a troupe of contortionist whose outfits resembled sea creatures.  This was one of the most impressive displays of flexibility and strength I have ever seen.  They worked together to create almost impossibly seeming human sculptures you’d have to see to believe.

Kurios Controtionists

The contortionists performing one of their moves Photo Credit

Rounding off the first act there was an incredibly creative twist on a chair balancing act, which I will leave out the details as not to ruin the surprise.  This was followed by an act that was the most extreme balancing board I have ever seen. I can barely stand on a single balancing board and this performer did a series of performances on multiple variations, each one giving me the feeling that I’m about to witness an injury any second. Needless to say, the performer built an immense amount of pressure on the audience succeeding in giving us a thrill through to the intermission.

The second act started off with my favorite performance of the evening with a net suspended maybe 2 meters above the stage that acted as a trampoline for a troupe of performers.  This started off with a group of men dressed in raincoats capped with sou’wester hats and lots of physical humor and ended with some of the highest trampoline tricks I have ever seen.  I’m sure you’ve all been on or have seen when someone gets “popcorned” on a trampoline and the momentum from the other jumpers sends one extra high, well picture that with six highly trained professionals and Cirque almost needed a grand-er chapiteau.

The second clown act of the night topped the first by bringing a lady from the audience to a couch on stage where he performed his greatest tricks on this awkward “date night”.  Full of laughs this is another great performance by the crowd stealing(literally, he took her back stage) clown of this show.

Rounding out the middle of the second act there was an aerial straps act which was probably the low point of the show before they began to build it up for the grand finale.  A yo-yo master followed the aerial strap act which was a very impressive display of skill but not as aww inspiring as the rest of the show. I have to admit although the yo-yo act wasn’t my favorite, it was incredibly impressive. I’ve tried teaching myself yo-yo tricks when I was in grade school, but I could do nothing that even resembled these tricks.

The giant mechanical hand made it’s return to the stage, this time with a miniature set of props on top and some cameras which were used for a weird but extremely entertaining finger puppetry piece. Once the puppetry is over a group comes to the stage showcasing their amazing acrobatics. They used each other as launch platforms, flipping and twisting in the air on multiple levels.  It reminded me slightly of highly competitive cheerleading routines but with an extra level of tricks that I’ve never seen before.

Topping off the show the scientist returns from his journey from the clouds and all of his inventions came to greet him for the curtain call.

Cirque du Soleil's Kurios The seeker and a Kurios

The Scientist and one of his Kurios.
Photo Credit

Overall I thought this was one of the better Cirque shows I have seen in sometime. It wasn’t as aww-inspiring as Ka, nor was it quite as fun as Love but it was a great balance of both fun and inspiration.  I can definitely say it is my favorite touring act I’ve seen from Cirque du Soleil and if any of you have an opportunity to see it, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it.

Have any of you seen any of Cirque du Soleil’s shows or other high caliber circus shows? Which ones? Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts on different shows or maybe get some recommendations!

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