As the Cirque du Soleil raises the curtain on its latest show, Kooza, Toronto audiences are set to take in a spectacle that returns the world-famous company back to its classic circus origins.
Kooza opens inside the Cirque's blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau set up at Cherry Beach in Toronto's portlands neighbourhood on Thursday, after having premiered in Montreal and Quebec City in the spring.
For the company's 20th production, Kooza writer and director David Shiner wanted to give audiences a bit of a surprise by focusing the spotlight on some of the more traditional circus arts, including clowning and acrobatics.
The show will put about 50 circus artists from all over the world through their paces.
"I'm the fifth generation of circus performers, so this is my life," said Angel Quiros, who began hiscircus training at 12.
"This is what I love to do," said the Spanish high-wire artist, who performs in Kooza with his brother and cousin.
The musical score also departs from the world music showcased in most previous Cirque productions.
Composer Jean-François Côté has opted for a score featuring North American-style rock with some touches of Indian music. (According to Cirque officials, "kooza" is a Sanskrit word that roughly translates to"box.")
The new show is "fun and funny, light and open. The show doesn't take itself too seriously, but it's very much about ideas, too," Shiner, a professional clown who has performed on Broadway, said in a statement.
"Kooza is about human connection and the world of duality, good and bad."
Kooza is scheduled to run in Torontountil October 7.