Circus coming to Redmond: Cirque du Soleil returns to Marymoor Park with ‘KOOZA’

The circus is coming to town! The world-renowned Cirque du Soleil will soon be back in action in its distinctive blue and yellow "Grand Chapiteau" (big top tent) at King County's Marymoor Park in Redmond.

Crews raise the “Grand Chapiteau” (big top tent) Thursday afternoon in preparation for “KOOZA

The circus is coming to town!

The world-renowned Cirque du Soleil will soon be back in action in its distinctive blue and yellow “Grand Chapiteau” (big top tent) at King County’s Marymoor Park in Redmond.

The show this time is “KOOZA,” starting June 3 and just extended through July 11. Cirque du Soleil has also brought two other acclaimed shows to Marymoor Park, “Corteo” in 2008 and “Varekai” in 2006.

In a phone conversation yesterday, Adam Miller, artistic director for “KOOZA,” described the show and its 53 performing artists as “pretty spectacular,” including talent such as actors, musicians, acrobatics, dancers and of course, clowns.

“To run this show, I have a lot of help,” Miller stated. “It’s in its fourth year. I didn’t create the show, the original show was created by David Shiner.”

“KOOZA” has since been enjoyed in cities all over the world, most recently, Portland.

“I have a staff of specialists for each department and I oversee them all,” Miller continued. “It’s a little like being the mayor of a little village … providing leadership and keeping everyone motivated.”

It’s a diverse cast, too, with performers from 16 countries, although English is their official language, said Miller.

“KOOZA” has both a story and a series of revues with themes of “innocence, youth, love, loss, different experiences in life,” he explained.

“There’s definitely a narrative thread, a sense of journey from one place to the next. Each act is an adventure with the main characters being the Innocent and the Trickster.”

The Innocent is a naive figure and the Trickster, said Miller, “is a magical, powerful figure who presents different challenges. He’s almost like the Wizard of Oz, helping you to see that you have the power within yourself to shape your own destiny.”

Which standout acts from “KOOZA” are Miller’s or the audience’s favorites?

“The Wheel of Death is the climactic moment of Act 2 that leaves people cheering and gasping, but it’s only one of many,” Miller noted. He said the Chinese Chairs act is another crowd pleaser, “with stacked chairs … a very Zen-like, pure, acrobatic act.”

Also get ready for “a trapeze act, something almost like a pas-de-deux on unicyles, a contortionist and lots of clowns,” said Miller.

Cirque du Soleil’s run in Redmond will be a personally exciting homecoming for Miller, too. He spent six years in Seattle, from 1980-86 as a principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet.

“I’m sure it has changed a great deal, but I love the Northwest and hope to reunite with some of my colleagues,” he said.

For more information about “KOOZA,” visit http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/kooza/default.aspx

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