Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza in Vancouver - Joe Ng
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2016-01-04

Kooza stays true to its Cirque du Soleil roots by expressing a story through acrobatic acts and clowning. What I love most about this show is the commitment that each performing artist puts into building their character and their ability to inject humor into their performance, all while meeting the physical demands of pulling off incredible stunts.

I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to shoot the full dress rehearsal of Kooza. There were some restrictions for all media photographers and videographers, such as prohibiting the use of camera flashes, but nothing too out of the ordinary. We used gaffer tape to cover any potential signal lights (ie. autofocus assist beam) coming from our cameras because the Kooza crew used small LED lights as signals to communicate with their performers. On a different note, even though we weren’t allowed to change our seating locations, this didn’t pose as an issue since we were seated in the second row and the first row was kept empty to ensure that nothing would block our view. I did, however, wish I could move to the back to get a few shots with the XF50-140mm using the XF1.4 teleconverter.

“KOOZA is about human connection and the world of duality, good and bad,” says the show’s writer and director David Shiner. “The tone is fun and funny, light and open. The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it’s very much about ideas, too. As it evolves, we are exploring concepts such as fear, identity, recognition and power.”

I shot with two bodies (X-T1 and X-T10) and with the XF50-140mm, XF16-55mm, and XF14mm lenses. Inside the big performance tent, the lighting was very dimmed down. I had no hesitations with regards to setting up my auto ISO to 6400. As all Cirque du Soleil performances are renown for their use of bright colors, Velvia was my first pick for the film simulation since I just loved how it rendered the colors of the show. All of the above photos came straight out of JPEG from the X-T1 and X-T10. I imported them into Lightroom without editing and exported a low resolution version for this blog post. You can browse through my Flickr to view the full size photos. One of the biggest benefits of using Fujifilm is the ability to cut down on my post-production time, leaving me with more time to kick back and enjoy another episode of House of Cards.

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