KOOZA’s set evokes a public square that metamorphoses into a circus ring. The circular stage provides the audience with excellent sight lines through 260 degrees.
There has been no attempt to conceal or disguise the acrobatic equipment. The structure of the big top is always in full view. Everything is done out in the open with simplicity and transparency in order to concentrate the audience’s attention on the artists and the acrobatic performances.
- The stage is dominated by one major set element, a traveling tower called the Bataclan, which alters the configuration of the performance space as it moves.
- The Bataclan moves artists in and out of the spotlight, serves as a bandstand and is flanked by two curved staircases.
- The decoration of the Bataclan is inspired by Hindu culture, Pakistani buses and Indian jewelry.
- Overlooking the Bataclan, the giant fabric structure called the Void was printed with motifs inspired by the internal structure of leaves to give it a decidedly organic look.
- The “sails” that frame the Bataclan can be opened and closed like the petals of an enormous flower by just two people using ropes and pulleys.
- The surface of the stage is decorated to look like a starry sky, and in the center ring is a graphic representation of the sky in Montreal on the night of the first public performance.
- The stage is ringed by recessed lighting units that cast a warm glow up into the faces of the performers, much like the footlights of a 19th-century theater.
- The diameter of the top of the stage is 36’; it is 42’ at the bottom step. This is the diameter of a standard circus ring set by the minimum size of a ring horses could comfortably be at gallop within.
- It is the highest stage ever designed for our shows (39” vs 30-36” usually), as we needed space underneath for the Jack-in-the-Box hydraulics (which propels 6-7 feet up in the air).
- Technicians and artists travel under the stage on dollies like mechanics use to roll under cars.
- The musician pit is located on the upper level of the structure.
“I wanted to capture the essence of circus itself by creating a scenographic environment that offers true proximity to the audience and where danger is palpable.” — Stéphane Roy