K√É¬Ä, the latest creation from Cirque du Soleil, premiered in February 2005, in the unprecedented performance space, the K√É¬Ä Theatre at MGM Grand. Featuring 80 performers from around the world, K√É¬Ä combines martial arts, acrobatics, puppetry, interactive video projections and pyrotechnics to tell the epic saga of Imperial Twins - a boy and a girl - who embark on an adventurous journey to fulfill their destinies.
K√É¬Ä is created and directed by acclaimed theatre and film director Robert Lepage. Lepage ('Bluebeard's Castle,' 'The Far Side of the Moon') describes the story as 'the coming of age of a young man and a young woman through their encounters with love, conflict and the duality of K√É¬Ä, the fire that can unite or separate, destroy or illuminate.' The Twins' journeys take them through a succession of challenging landscapes and ever-changing performance spaces that conjure an entire empire on stage.
The Brother and Sister are the son and daughter of the Emperor and Empress. They live in luxurious, safe surroundings in a time of peace. The Royal Barge carries the Twins to the festivities as they play on the deck. They are entertained by the court with martial arts demonstration of strength and agility, including Wushu, Chinese Opera, and Brazilian Capoeira. The Twins display their musical ability with a light-hearted duet on flute. But the tranquility of their existence is about to be disrupted. They come under attack by bands of marauding Archers and Spearmen, directed by the Chief Archer under the influence of the ambitious Counselor and his Son.
As their world disintegrates and the life they knew collapses around them, the Twins are separated and must strike out on their own on an arduous journey of self-discovery that will test their determination and skills as martial artists.
The Brother is accompanied by the Court Jester, and the Sister by their Nurse, but both must learn to stand up for themselves. The Spearmen try to impress the Chief Archer's Daughter with their dynamic leaps from pillar to pillar just as the Twin Brother and Court Jester stumble into the scene. The ensuing clash has the Spearmen leaping up to 18 feet between the pillars as both sides display their martial arts and acrobatic skills. The Court Jester is defeated and the Twin Brother is captured, but not before catching the eye of the Chief Archer's Daughter.
Danger lies in wait for them at every turn. The Archers and Spearmen are hunting them down relentlessly. The ever-changing terrain they pass through is full of hazards. Even the weather seems bent on their destruction. But as their quest takes them through a succession of challenging landscapes, from a comical seashore through perilous mountains, to iridescent primeval forests and muddy fields, they also encounter brave people who will risk everything to help them, and they even find love in the most unexpected places.
In the culmination of their extraordinary journeys, the Twins are joined by the Firefly Boy and the Forest People for the final battle against the evil Archers and Spearmen, led by the Counselor and his son. The aerial perspective of the battle highlights the adversaries as they soar through the air, traveling up to 50 feet, and move perpendicular to the ground.
The show's title, K√É¬Ä, is inspired by the ancient Egyptian belief in the 'ka,' an invisible spiritual duplicate of the body that accompanies every human being throughout this life and into the next.
Photos by Tomas Muscionico Costumes by Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt Cirque du Soleil Inc
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