Cirque De Soleil
KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities
Now touring the United States, the Cirque du Soleil tale in which time comes to a complete stop, KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities transports the audience inside a fantasy world where everything is possible. In this realm set in the latter half of the 19th century, reality is quite relative indeed as our perception of it is utterly transformed. The name of the show refers to the humble and strange characters that inhabit the Seeker’s Cabinet of Curiosities.
In his larger-than-life curio cabinet, the Seeker is convinced that there exists a hidden, invisible world – a place where the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams lie waiting. A collection of other worldly characters suddenly steps into his makeshift mechanical world. When the outlandish, benevolent characters turn his world upside down with a touch of poetry and humor in an attempt to ignite the Seeker’s imagination, his curios jump to life one by one before his very eyes. What if by engaging our imagination and opening our minds we could unlock the door to a world of wonders?
The Curious Attire of A Hybrid World
More than a hundred costumes were created to dress the cast. A fitting tribute to the power of the human imagination, the costumes of KURIOS – Cabinet of
Curiosities are the result of a visual exploration of the beginnings of science, of the discoveries and inventions that led to the industrial revolution of the 19th century – from the steam locomotive to electrical power to electromagnetic waves. They embody and celebrate the advancements of science, but in an imaginary, parallel world. While the visual references may seem self-evident, the show’s curious yet familiar characters and costumes transport the audience to a time suspended somewhere between past and future, in an alternate reality, as if science had evolved without the internal combustion engine and as if the golden age of the steam engine had continued on, uninterrupted.
Meet the Characters
Mr. Microcosmos – The “bigger is better” ethos that drives the retro-futuristic aesthetic of the show is on the opposite side of the spectrum of the miniaturization that characterizes the electronic era. A case in point is the costume of Mr. Microcosmos. “He’s like a mechanical Obelix [from the cartoon characters Asterix & Obelix], but instead of holding a tiny dog in his arms, he lugs around a small lady in his belly wherever he goes, and he’s hardly aware of it,” says Guillotel.
The leader of the group, this serious potbellied chap is the embodiment of technological progress; his world is sturdy and evokes the steam train, massive building structures, the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais. He is a microcosm, running on his own steam and traveling in his own
self-contained, self-subsisting ecosystem.
Mini Lili – Antanina Satsura, the artist who plays Mini Lili (a painter, actress and poetess), is one-meter tall and weighs 18 kg. She lives inside Mr. Microcosmo’s overcoat and represents her host’s unconscious mind, his intuitive self, his fragile and poetic side. Through the door in Mr. Microcosmos’ belly, we can see the furnished interior of Mini Lili’s quarters, which include an armchair, a chandelier and other essentials of a Victorian home.
Nico the Accordion Man – The perfect handyman, Nico is a little shy, a tad awkward, and extremely sensitive. His accordion costume allows him to bend way down or stand way up so he can be at eye level with everyone. His pants are folded like a piece of origami and are inspired by the darkrooms that were part of early cameras.
Klara the Telegraph of the Invisible – Klara can receive alpha waves by turning on her heels and pointing her hoop skirt in various directions. Her skirt is inspired by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and is shaped like early parabolic antennas. The print on her leotard evokes electrical circuits and connections. Klara has a language of her own and symbolizes our obsession with telecommunications during the golden age of the railroad when the telegraph and the gramophone were invented.
The Kurios – Since there is so much work to be done before his dream becomes reality, the Seeker surrounds himself with a brigade of quirky robots he built from scraps and recycled parts. These imperfect, dysfunctional creatures have the distinct smell of metal, leather and the unbridled imagination of their creator.
KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities presents an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where wonders abound. Along with the Seeker, audiences discover that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, they must first learn to close their eyes. To learn when Kurios will visit South Florida, watch for the next issue of South Florida Opulence!