Home > SMAP > SMAP’s Shingo Katori visits Cirque du Soleil in Miami, becomes ambassador

SMAP’s Shingo Katori visits Cirque du Soleil in Miami, becomes ambassador

15:40 JST November 22, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Shingo Katori (33) has been named the world’s first mission ambassador for Cirque du Soleil, reports Daily Sports, Sports Hochi, and Sponichi Annex.

Ahead of Japan’s “Kooza” show tour starting in February 2011, the popstar had been invited to attend the show’s first Miami performance on November 12, where he was declared as Kooza ambassador.

Katori, a Cirque du Soleil fan himself, was more than happy to accept.

“I feel a great amount of pressure, but maybe I’m the only one who can do it,” he said.

The singer said he had been to Cirque du Soleil performances more than 10 times in the past, and their shows had influenced the art direction in his SMAP concerts.

That was not the only surprise of the night though.

After the show, Katori was invited backstage where he was given Kooza’s main character Trickster’s costume as a present.

“What?  This is for me?  Wow!”  Katori said as the 55 circus performers applauded him.

Each costume has been reported to take up to several months to create, and is made only for the person who performs in it.

Cirque du Soleil’s artistic director Adam Miller had later explained why Katori had been chosen as ambassador.

“Shingo has a warm personality, lots of energy, and is a very loving person.  He has the ability to get people to listen to him,” he said.

While in Miami, Katori tried out the Wheel of Death, one of the show’s many attractions which looks like a giant rat’s running wheel which is lifted up 12 metres above ground.

It has been reported that despite having just flown in from work in Las Vegas, the popstar did not look tired as he started to walk inside the 750 kilogram wheel.

“This is scary, but I want to take it one step at a time,” he said.

Katori made it three metres into the air before signaling an end to his attempt while the circus performers below applauded his efforts and called out, “samurai!” to him.

In the end, Katori had said he was happy to have come.

“It’s been fantastic!  I feel like I’m a part of Kooza now having experienced it with my body.

“Every time I watch Cirque du Soleil I cry.  They make me smile and give me something to be happy about.  Especially with Kooza, it’s made me remember things I had forgotten about since becoming an adult.  I hope I can give back a little of what I’ve felt to everyone Japan,” he said.

SMAP’s song “We are SMAP!” had been selected as the show’s theme song when it’s Japan season starts next year.

The show’s name “Kooza” comes from the Sanskrit word for “magical container”, and has already been seen by more than 3 million people worldwide since it’s first show in 2007.

Kooza's Wheel of Death (photo thanks to Cirque du Soleil website)

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Source: http://daily.co.jp/gossip/article/2010/11/22/0003625227.shtml

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/entertainment/news/20101122-OHT1T00089.htm

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/entertainment/news/2010/11/22/01.html

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