review: Jim Wills & Janrace

CRAVE Magazine’s mission is to promote, celebrate and support Colorado art, but every so often, a performance comes to Colorado that is just so remarkable that it must be talked about, regardless of its place of origin. One such act that we would be remiss not to share is the new Cirque du Soleil show Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities. This marks the 35th production for the company that has changed the way the world looks at a circus.

Cirque-Kurios-ContortionWe’ve decided, in great Cirque fashion, to put a twist on this review and write it from two perspectives. We brought together Janrace—a Cirque du Soleil newbie, undertaking the joyful madness for the first time. Also, a veteran of the experience, Jim– who has been to several Cirque du Soleil shows.

Janrace: Aerialists, contortionists and acrobats, oh my! Not to be confused with a traditional circus, here there are no animals. Cirque du Soleil is truly the most jaw-droppingly remarkable live performing arts show that I have ever seen.

This was my first time at Cirque du Soleil and it will definitely NOT be my last! The enchanting show will capture your attention from start to finish. It is filled with creativity and flawlessness as the talented cast performs breathtaking stunts, unsurpassed acrobatics and unique choreography blending acrobatics and dance.

Jim: It does not matter if you’ve seen one Cirque du Soleil show or a hundred. Every experience is an absolute marvel to behold. While no show will truly compare to the first one you see, Kurios comes as close as any! It was definitely a wonder for the senses.

Another reason to see this show is that it is under The Grand Chapiteau (Big Top). Like the traveling circuses of yore, Kurios is set up under large tent. Holding only about 2700 guests, makes this show a very intimate setting, with not a bad seat in the house.Cirque-Kurios-Aerial-Bicycle

Janrace: My favorite segments included the overly bendable women in “Contortion”, the zany “Acro Net” stunts, “Banquine” and the “Aerial Bicycle” performance. The amazing agility and athleticism throughout the show is unbelievable. The challenging acts include lots of flips, jumps and swings and I find it fascinating to watch people flying in the air with no wire or net.

My absolute favorite piece was the “Aerial Bicycle” when performer Anne Wessbeicker hung by her foot upside down in the air as the bike was flipped upside down. Wow!

Jim: Every Cirque show is built around a storyline. This one revolves around The Seeker- a scientist of sorts who believes a secret invisible world exists inside his curio cabinet. The show is our glimpse into the oddities of this makeshift mechanical world.

There are always mind-bending acrobatics, and Kurios had a wonderful mix of sensational new performances with death-defying tricks, lots of comedy and heart-warming intimate moments.

Acro-netI was completely blown away by the mastery of the performers. The precision and focus to which they execute their art form is beyond compare. I especially loved the hypnotically twisted take on the dinner party levitation in the “Upside Down World”. Another favorite was the comedic trampoline fish-men of the “Acro Net”.

Mini-LiliSpeaking of comedy, the clowning act of David-Alexandre Després was one of best I’ve seen. After pulling an audience member on stage he attempted to seduce her with a litany of antics. His pussy-cat rendition is almost too spot on!

Janrace: Another marvel of the show was “Mini Lili.” As one of the 10 smallest people in the world, performer Antanina Satsura emerged from the belly of “Mr. Microcosmos.” Even at only 3.2 feet tall, she commanded the stage with her miniscule presence.

The elements of a steam punk theme, whimsical costumes, a hint of magic, mystery and humor mixed with visuals, dance and live music made this show an absolutely memorable experience. You will not be disappointed…guaranteed!

Jim: This was absolutely one of the BEST Cirque du Soleil shows I have been to. As the momentum built during the first half, the second half was non-stop action. Even the more intimate segments kept me on the edge of my seat.

Whether you’ve been before or this will be your first time, Cirque du Soleil is a show never to be Rola-Bolamissed when it comes through town!



Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities is performing now through July 26 under The Grand Chapiteau at the Pepsi Center Prius West parking lot. (1000 Chopper Cir, Denver, CO 80204)
Ticket prices range from $34-$125 and are available at Cirque du Soleil

All photos: Martin Girard © Cirque du Soleil