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Photograph: Martin Girard/shootstudio.ca Costumes: Philippe Guillotel © 2014 Cirque du Soleil

Kurios, the latest touring show from Cirque du Soleil, opens with a frenzy Victorian era characters clad in mechanical contraptions, all performing to an eclectic live soundtrack that's equal parts jazz and swing with a gypsy-meets-electronic flair. The show manages to take obvious steampunk styles—horns and gauges tacked onto typewriters and everything bathed in a brassy Edison bulb glow—and execute them with a dazzling, over-the-top polish.

The performances, unsurprisingly, are just as jaw-droppingly astounding, with the first act mostly dedicated to the art of balance and the second to more high-flying feats. When the performers aren't busy flying on bicycles or free falling while juggling, the show is filled with those inexplicable distractions—an Oompa Loompa-like little old lady who lives inside of a steam-powered, diving helmet-shaped character—that make Cirque shows oddly unique and well worth the ticket cost.

Directed by Michel Laprise, Cirque's special events designer, Kurios starts October 15 at the OC Fair & Event Center and December 10 at Dodger Stadium.

By: Michael Juliano

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