| Theater |

Cirque du Soleil's Kooza Opens Friday at Bicentennial Park

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In the Cirque du Soleil production Kooza, an extremely naive, melancholy character known as the Innocent finds himself unable to launch a kite. Instead of giving up, he initiates a Fight Club-esque mental illusion in which a trickster appears in a box and begins to command the world using a wand. He shows the Innocent that the universe can be both playful and scary when one holds the power to control it.

Miami is the last stop on the North American tour of the Canadian show that mixes circus acts and street performance with Vegas-like opulence. New Times spoke to Cirque du Soleil's senior artistic director, Luc Tremblay, and got a preview of the impossible, death-defying acts that will be gracing the big top at Bicentennial Park.

"It's all about power," says Tremblay, about the storyline. Power, in

this case, will be communicated via 11 acts featuring some of the best

circus artists gathered from all over the world. They will contort their

bodies into impossible human sculptures, balance on a 23-foot tower of

chairs, command seven hula hoops at a time, and flip and turn bicycles

atop a high wire. The show ends with the "wheel of death," a 1,600 pound

rotating wheel positioned diagonally atop the audience, from which two

artists leap and counter-rotate while performing acrobatic feats. 

Six musicians and two singers will play the accompanying soundtrack.

"The music is an assembly of different styles," says Tremblay. "It is

inspired by world beats, including some music from Bollywood." Guy

Laliberté, the creator of the show, traveled extensively throughout

India and his experiences formed a lot of the inspiration for visuals

based on "Hindu culture, Pakistani buses, and Indian jewelry."

"As he goes further on his journey he sees the possibility of being

joyful and taking charge of his life," Tremblay says about the Innocent.

"He becomes enriched by the experience." And he's not the only one, as

we, too, shall be enriched by the prospect of two nutso clowns

performing life endangering leaps right above our faces.

Cirque du Soleil's Kooza opens Friday and runs through Sunday, December

19 at Grand Chapiteau at Bicentennial Park (1075 Biscayne Blvd., Miami).

Shows are at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 8 p.m. Friday through

Sunday. Tickets cost $35-$248.50 for children and $50-$355 for adults.

Call 1-800-450-1480 or visit cirquedusoleil.com

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