Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities - Theatre Review

By: Alison Silveira

Cirque du Soleil's grand spectacle, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities, had its exciting premier under the big top in Toronto's Port Lands last week. I have never seen a production by Montreal's famed circus company that I did not like, and Kurios is no exception. Writer and director, Michele Laprise has created a character, The Seeker, (Anton Valen) whose inventiveness seems to have no limitations. Set in a futuristic, life-size curio cabinet in the 19th century, the audience is transported into The Seeker's surrealistic world where anything can materialize. 

An aviator lands his plane and uses it as platform to showcase his daring balancing board act. The platform swings like a pendulum, as the aviator skillfully balances on multiple planks and cylinders. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat and holding my breath, trying to fathom how he was going to land without a misstep.
The most memorable act in the show occurs during a fancy dinner party in a chair-balancing act. Performers are suspended upside down from the ceiling and they symmetrically mimic the performers on stage, much to their surprise. The precision that goes into executing a complex scene of that nature is nothing short of brilliant. 

In a masterful display of agility, flexibility, and strength, contortionists gracefully showcase a series of impressive pyramids and figures in lightening speed atop an elaborate mechanical hand as a platform.  

The palpable energy that emerged from the performers was hypnotic. The cast of 46 talented performers displayed boundless energy and created magic on stage that has to be seen to be appreciated. Inspiring a sense of childlike wonderment with its jaw dropping acts, and daring feats, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities is show not to be missed. 

Writer and director: Michele Laprise
Choreographers: Susan Gaudreau, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Yaman Okur, Ben Potvin and Andrea Ziegler
Composer and Musical Director: Raphaël Beau
Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities runs at the Port Lands, 51 Commissioners Street until October 26, 2014.

Photos by Martin Girard