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Friday, April 9, 2010

Clownin' Around at Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Granted, the number six Trimet bus is hardly a mobile gathering of esteemed scholars, but even I was shocked when my seat neighbor loudly exclaimed that the newly erected Cirque du Soleil tent on the south waterfront was for "fumigation or some shit." Sadly he was incorrect. (If he was right, just imagine the pile of gassed, deceased clowns.) The brightly colored bigtop was actually for KOOZA, the latest Cirque du Soleil venture to pass this way.

While clown coverage is hardly my beat at this paper, perhaps my previous Juggalo experience made me the best person to appreciate KOOZA's steady balance of clownish whimsy, sensory overload, and the sheer terror of two-plus hours of contortion and gaudy leotards. The "art of clowning" (their term, definitely not mine) was on full display as the largely unimportant plot line followed a "a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world."

As with any of their events, the level of physical contortion was incredible, as was the acrobatic prowess and the impressive stage setup. Backed by a seven piece live band (a nice touch) perched upon a balcony, the KOOZA troupe cycled through a wide array of extreme contortion, highwire balancing, vigorous air-humping, and other wacky activities that delighted the mostly bridge and tunnel crowd. Considering a ticket price ($35-87.50) that is slightly out of most folks' clown-based entertainment budget, it's a hard sell to fully recommend KOOZA to anyone under the age of 60, or over the age of 12. (Perhaps this goes without saying, but if you do go, you definitely should get very high beforehand.)

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