The Fame Reporter interviewed the wondrous, eccentric performer, Kazuha Ikeda. She is currently starring as Klara ‘The Telegraph of The Invisible’ in the much anticipated Cirque Du Soleil show – Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities playing at Under the Big Top, Northshore Hamilton in Brisbane from 10 January to 23 February.
A constant throughout the show, Klara receive alpha waves by turning on her heels and pointing her antenna-hoop skirt in various directions and is played by Kazuha Ikeda, who is originally from Tokyo. She moved to Los Angeles to study dance and has appeared for multiple recording artists and in productions in Japan and North America, including the 2015 Billboard Music Awards and as a featured dancer in music videos for the Pussycat Dolls, Mariah Carey, and in a promotional video for Britney Spears’ “Mannequin”.
In 2005 she saw “O” by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas and was overwhelmed by the concept of the show, leading her to set a goal to someday perform on stage for Cirque du Soleil. In 2012 Kazuha attended a Cirque du Soleil general audition and was entered into the artist database and in 2017 she was selected for the role of Klara in KURIOS.
Kurios is set in the latter half of the nineteenth century, reality is quite relative indeed as our perception of it is utterly transformed.
Out of his curio cabinet steps an international cast of 47 artists from 17 countries, a collection of otherworldly characters made up of world-class gymnasts, acrobats, contortionists, hand-puppeteers, yo-yo wizards, clowns, actors and musicians. Together they turn the Seeker’s steampunk world upside-down as they are guided by an energetic gypsy jazz, electro swing soundtrack. It’s Cirque du Soleil at it’s very best and is a MUST SEE for 2020!
We talked to Kazuha about her reaction when she landed a role in her first Cirque Du Soleil show, what she adores about her character and this production as well as the comparisons between performing for a recording artist to being part of a large scale Cirque Du Soleil show and more!
See our interview below!
How did you react when you landed the role of Klara in Kurios in your first Cirque Du Soleil show?
It was a really wonderful shock because I’d been trying to get into Cirque du Soleil for a long, long time and it took so many auditions so it was definitely a dream come true. It took a while for me to realize and really feel that I had achieved my goal.
What do you love about your character and what is your ultimate favourite moment in the show that you take part in?
Klara is half woman and half mechanic, she has a little bit of a woman’s heart and as the story goes on she develops more as a human.
There’s a part in the Russian Cradle act where she realises she has special feelings toward the Seeker [one of the main characters] and like your first love she cannot realise what the uncomfortable feeling is.
For me that’s really the cutest moment that I feel that Klara has in the show. There’s a part where Klara falls and the Seeker catches her and we start dancing. The Seeker is not realising what’s happening with Klara, he’s just trying to make sure that we are safe and we’re dancing, and Klara is really confused and realising she is developing a crush on him.
What has been the most rewarding and challenging parts about performing in this Cirque Du Soleil show?
The fact that we have so many shows – we have 8-10 shows a week and we only have one day off usually – so bringing the best performance every show and keeping it fresh 8 times or 10 times a week for so many months is challenging, but it’s also rewarding because we get to perform the show so many times.
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
I want to have dinner with Michael Jackson and Celine Dion and john Lennon and Yoko Ono together.
What are the main comparisons between dancing for a recording artist like Britney Spears or The Pussycat Dolls to performing for a large Cirque Du Soleil production like Kurios?
So usually as a dancer for those kinds of artists it’s like a really short time we have to prepare, a few rehearsals and then we get in front of a camera and we’re done really quickly so you have to bring the best performance in a short time.
On a Cirque du Soleil show we have to bring the best performance every time, every show, and the length of the focus we have to bring is really different. But at the same time, when you’re dancing for an artist we make the artist shine, we make the artist look gorgeous.
Similarly in a Cirque du Soleil show as a character we make the main act look great, make them shine, so there’s some connection between those two jobs also.
What is the rehearsal like for a show like this and what do you love about performing all around the world?
Every week is different, we have rehearsals for maintenance and we have rehearsals when a new performer comes in or slight changes happen, so it depends on the need of the show.
I love that the reaction and the energy of the audience is always different.
It depends on the city, it depends on the country, and it also depends on the day of the week. For example on weekends we have so many kids and get a different reaction from them so even though we do the same show, the energy and the excitement and enjoyment of the show is different every time.
Do you have a favourite Cirque Du Soleil show that you have seen that you would love to do in the future?
Right now I’m focusing on Klara to get better and to get closer to the ideal Klara.
For the future I want to do a little more comedy.
There’s an act in the Cirque du Soleil show Zumanity in Las Vegas where I saw a lady who is using plastic baggies filled with scotch to make “do-it-yourself breast implants” and she is hilarious. That’s something I want to challenge myself to do in the future.
Why do you think Australian audiences should see Cirque Du Soleil: Kurios?
KURIOS is really just a fun show but not only a fun show, it also has a positive message so young, old, woman and man.
Everybody will leave the tent with a smile on their face. You will have a lot of positive, happy energy from the show, so that’s the main reason I’m excited to bring KURIOS to Brisbane.
Thank-you Kazuha for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities – Under the Big Top, Northshore Hamilton in Brisbane from 10 January to 23 February!
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All photos – Supplied