The circus has come to town again!

As you approach Cirque du Soleil's big blue and yellow tent on South Broad Street, kite-flying dancers greet you and suddenly the world seems a festive place. Cirque's brand of circus is full of music and exotic costumes and clowns, as well as breathtaking acts of daring and skill. (No animals.)

This installment's title comes, my press kit tells me, from the Sanskrit word koza, which means something like "box" or "treasure chest." And after the usual jolly pre-show pandemonium of clowns chasing clowns and flinging popcorn in audience members' hair, there appears a sweet little person with a kite. Then a man on a bicycle delivers a big package, and when he unwraps it he discovers a kooza, a bright red treasure chest from which the show emerges.

First the stage fills with lively gymnasts and musicians. Then a heap of jeweled humanity untangles itself to reveal three astounding contortionists - if they weren't such beautiful women they would seem grotesque; if they didn't have feet they would seem to be mermaids.

And if there's anything more fun than seeing one of Cirque's many touring shows for the first time, it's watching the wonder on the face of a first-timer. I had no sooner reassured my friend (a gasper and arm-clutcher) that these performers were so excellent there was no need to worry when the trapeze artist fell - unhurt. Then, later in the first act, one of the high-wire guys fell - unhurt. This dented the awe created by the four previous Cirque shows I'd seen (and considerably increased the arm-clutching), but Act Two more than restored it.

A band of skeletons fills the stage after intermission, introducing the Wheel of Death - the evening's most spectacular act. Jimmy Ibarra Zapata and Carlos Enrique Marin Loaiza, dressed in bizarre devil costumes, run inside (and outside!) large wire wheels suspended in mid-air, making them spin. They leap, they twirl, they take your breath away. This is Spiderman in the flesh.

Kooza's juggler - Anthony Gatto, glittering in a silver mirrored suit - is, simply, amazing. He can juggle with his feet, with his shoulders, with his head and his mouth. How does he do that? Ditto the Chinese Chair Act. Yao Deng Bo, whose costume is, except for a loincloth, tattooed skin over sinew, balances wooden chair upon wooden chair to a seemingly impossible height - and then stands atop the pile. On one hand.

The gigantic gang of Russian teeterboarders is dazzling; what must it feel like to have a grown man somersault through the air and land on your shoulders? And don't even ask about doing it on stilts!

Kooza lacks the magical allure of some of the earlier Cirque du Soleil shows - Mystere and Dralion especially, with their haunting music and surreal narratives. Those shows also seemed richer and more stuffed full, with lots of things going on onstage simultaneously. Here the pace is slower, the acts fewer and the costumes less spectacular. But it's silly to complain about a show that's so enjoyable: The clowns are fun, the volunteers from the audience are good sports, a big cannon shoots confetti on everybody, and we all had a fine time.