Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA opens an electrifying circus world full of surprises

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024
KOOZA opens an electrifying circus world full of surprises
Explore the enchanting world of Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA with this exclusive behind-the-scenes peek.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Cirque du Soleil's adrenaline-fueled show KOOZA captivates audiences with acrobatics and boundless creativity.

Theatrical flair is infused into every immersive performance. In fact, the show pays homage to traditional circus roots with rich storytelling at its core.

"What really ties it together are our characters, there's the 'Trickster' and 'The Innocent' who goes on this journey of discovery through this world of duality, and of course our 'Clown,'" described Rob Tannion, KOOZA's Artistic Director.

For the performers of KOOZA, stepping on stage fulfills a lifelong dream. Today's performance is the culmination of countless hours of dedicated training.

"I train every day," shared Mizuki Shinagawa, an Artist Aerialist performing in KOOZA. "5-6 hours, sometimes 10 hours."

Shinagawa added, "This was my dream since when I was little. Flying up there, looking at the audience, just feeling the audience, living the moment."

Life under the Big Top is just as exciting off stage. It takes 150 people and roughly one week to set up the space.

"There's a resilient passion about it also, and a really tight coordination on that operation," said Jean-Franois Raymond, the Director Site Operations of KOOZA.

"We now have 31 different nationalities from all around the globe, there's 140 people of those there are 54 artists," described Tannion. "We're a community."

Backstage you'll find a restaurant serving a variety of cuisines, an artistic den, several warm-up spaces, and of course a wardrobe space holding the show's elaborate costumes.

"I manage a team of 8 people," explained Alexandra Mancini, the Head of Wardrobe. "We maintain, alter, and create costumes for the show. We also teach makeup to all of the artists and basically bring the audience a wonderful world of characters that they've not seen before."

"I think there's nothing better when you go into a city that is renowned for having cultural credibility," said Tannion. "A community that embraces the arts, fosters it, and nurtures it, and I think that's really good, and we feel it with the audiences."

Get your tickets to see KOOZA Under the Big Top at Oracle Park now through March 17, 2024. For more information, visit here.