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Cirque du Soleil KURIOS

If you’ve ever been to a Cirque du Soleil show, you know how effortless the artists make the jaw-dropping acts appear on stage. In Vancouver, we’re currently getting treated to KURIOS — Cabinet of Curiosities, a show that’s been on tour since it launched in Montreal in 2014.

It’s Cirque’s 35th production and includes a cast of 56 artists from 16 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil KURIOS

With a whimsical approach to this personable show, characters appear in a steampunk atmosphere, and the stage is an eye-pleaser (you can go right up and take photos before the show and during intermission). The sheer detail and amount of props used (426!) is staggering.

Cirque du Soleil KURIOS

Kudos to Set and Props Designer Stéphane Roy and Costume Designer Philippe Guillotel who’ve taken writer/director Michel Laprise’s vision and turned it literally upside down! Yes, there’s a gravity-defying aspect to this show as well, and thanks to the creative team of equipment, lighting and rigging wizards, this show is a two-act visual pleasure to take in.

Cirque du Soleil KURIOS

KURIOS is named after the concept of pre-era museums in the Industrial Age, when aristocrats, members of the merchant class and early practitioners of science brought back objects (curios) from travels around the world — collectible historic relics, works of art, mysterious souvenirs or artefacts.

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The curios we see here are partially manufactured, partially antiques.

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A team of technicians looks after the collection in case of damage; some are simply swapped out at local antique stores on an as-needed basis.

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The show presents a larger-than-life curio cabinet with a character named the Seeker, who is convinced that a hidden world exists where “the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams exist”. These amazing, dream-world characters step out into a mechanical world on stage.

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There is so much to take in that we’d even recommend seeing the show a second time, to revisit this world of curiosity and wonder.

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KURIOS is a happy show that’s suitable for all ages and offers a great escape from the cold, dark days leading into winter.

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We were invited backstage after the show (this is actually offered as a Behind the Scenes package for up to 20 guests per night; tickets on the Cirque site).

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Here’s where we get acquainted with the props, costumes, makeup, training and workout spaces and the rest of what it entails to put on a show of this scope.

Once KURIOS wraps up here on New Year’s Eve, performers and staff will take a break and bring the show to Japan in mid-January. And with the nightly standing ovation the show earns, we’re certain that it will be a hit over there as well.

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For more information on KURIOS and to purchase advance seats, visit Cirque du Soleil online.

Non-watermarked images © Martin Girard shootstudio.ca.

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