Regardless of which show you attend, Cirque du Soleil is definitively a must see. Read on to get a feel for why we say this.
We have been fans of the Cirque du Soleil for quite some time. We not only enjoy the performances, but keep the memories alive until the next show we can attend via their amazing music and soundtracks. This year, we were incredibly fortunate to be invited to their show TOTEM. The shortage of words to describe this amazing production has been overwhelming. Entertaining, provocative, intellectual, physical, educational, symbolic, engaging, beautiful, surprising, innovative, heart-stirring. You have to experience it. Written and directed by Robert Lepage, TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential. It was for us the reflection and relationships between our origins and who we are today in a dynamic and fabulously artistic tale. The performance begins with several of the key characters mingling and interacting with the audience. While we don’t want to give it out for those of you yet to go, we still have to give your some of our poignant moments. It all starts on a stage that features the giant skeleton of a turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations. Center stage comes a dark figure that become an luminescent entity that descends from the skies to bring life and accompanies the show throughout. We loved this concept as it allows for each member in the audience to make their own interpretations. At intermission we conversed with fellow-in-awe patrons like us, and while one viewed it as God, another translated the image into the big bag. Someone said it was a visitor from another planet planting its species seed….
|credit Goon Production|
The explosion of color is present the entire time, fantastic and original acrobatics are performed with perfect accuracy and with a passion I have never seen from a performer. Everyone seems truly dedicated to their moment on stage and devoted to giving the best they can. Native American music, actors and symbolism gave it an amplified respect for nature and deep tradition. One of the most sensual and dramatic acts was that of a couple on roller skates spinning on a two meter diameter drum. Seriously touching and breathtaking! The imagery to set the mood change on stage via video is not only impressive but graphically of amazing quality delivering on cue the right setting. There is no doubt that technological boundaries are being pushed to the limits with the different projections on stage that easily transport you from a field of wheat to a lake or to a beach. The eclectic mix of performers and acts truly felt like a representation of the world, our different cultures or preferences. We went backstage to more wow moments. The first thing that caught our attention was the dedication of the performers. The show had ended and most were at the gym, working hard! True they were warm and were taking advantage of this, but still it made an impression.
We were able to see the costumes (all made in Montreal) and talk about attention to detail! Yet more remarkable is how heavy these costumes are. From stage they look like a second skin. Here are some facts we took away from our backstage tour: -The cast of TOTEM comprises 53 artists from 18 countries— • There are 120 touring employees with 50 official accompanying members (spouses and family). So a total of 170 on the road! • A total of 23 children are on tour between the ages of 6 months and 17 years old. Currently, the youngest tour member is 6 months and the eldest is 61! • One of the performers is a Cirque du Soleil baby: born, raised and now working on tour! • Quebec curriculum is followed at school • The kitchen employs one touring kitchen manager and three touring cooks.
We could really go on and on and on about our experience and how utterly captivating it is. Nevertheless, we prefer to encourage you to experience it for yourself. You will not forget this fabulous experience easily.