“I began working on this show at the time Cirque was celebrating its 30th anniversary. That was five years ago. We had done a lot of shows by then and I was getting the sense that much of the public were saying, ‘Well, we’ve seen Cirque du Soleil.’ I immediately thought, ‘No, no, no. Not this show.’ So, I told the designers that this was not a show, not a project. It was a mission. It was my first Cirque du Soleil show and I wanted to re-invent it. I made a list of all the things we usually find in a Cirque du Soleil show and I divided them into things we did out of necessity and things we did out of comfort or habit. If it was comfort or habit, I just took it out. I wanted the audience to have the sense of being taken to another dimension. Every act in the show projects this aura of existing in a world where time has stopped. We have some acts that are not even acrobatic, such as The Invisible Circus. Picture the Invisible Man times eight. The audience sees all the devices—like the trapeze—moving, but not the people performing on them. We have the poetry of hand puppetry and the virtuoso yo-yo artistry of Tomonari Isiguro that evoke the sense of watching buskers at a 19th-century flea market. And the overall look of the show is Steampunk. No one who sees Kurios will leave saying, ‘Oh, we have just seen another Cirque du Soleil show’.”
Julio Martinez-hosted Arts in Review—celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area—airs Fridays (2-2:30pm) on KPFK (90.7FM).