Apple may think that they have the market cornered on being a genius, but they are wrong. True creative genius lives at Cirque du Soleil. I cannot fathom the creative talent it takes to imagine and execute the shows that they produce. From a group of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has evolved into the world wide phenomenon that it is today with over 5,000 employees from close to 50 different countries. They currently have 21 shows performing around the world.
The word “totem” contains the idea of the order of species. The theme of this performance is that we carry in our bodies the potential of all species, all the way to our desire to fly—like the thunderbird at the top of the totem pole.
The bad news is that I honestly, couldn't follow the storyline in this show. It was a very disjointed, jumping from frogs to Native American Indians to surfers, then on to Flamingo dancers, bull fighters, monkeys and even two "Vegas type" showgirls.
However, the good news is, it didn't matter because the acts were so fabulous that I didn't care! Totem was the fifth Cirque du Soleil show that I have attended and it is my favorite. (FYI, I say that after every show, but this one really is my favorite!)
One of the reasons I liked this show so much was that I thought Totem was visually the most beautiful of all the shows that I have seen. This was in large part due to the stunning special effects which added elements not seen in any of the other productions.
TOTEM is set in a marsh lined with reeds near an island (the stage), on which images are projected. Tilted slightly forward, the image marsh acts both as a stage entrance and as a projection surface. Some of the projections on the marsh interact with the movements of the artists in real time. Infrared cameras detect their movement and produce kinetic effects such as ripples, splashes and reflections in the water and the flames, which made this a very believable setting.
But the talent was the most phenomenal element. Each act became progressively more interesting and amazing than the last! The athletic abilities of these performers was astounding. I can't really pick which act was my favorite because each was so unique.
Watching the acrobats on the giant bars and also on the Russian Bars was like watching the Olympics set to music. The Crystal Ladies spinning squares of glittering material on their hands and feet were mesmerizing.
The five unicyclists tossing metal bowls with their feet—sometimes over their shoulders—and catching them on their heads without using their hands were spectacular! Native American Hoop Dancers were fascinating as they created shapes with the hoops to evoke various animals and images in a ritual that symbolizes the endless circle of life.
I was intrigued by the scientist as he juggled multiple luminous balls at dizzying speeds inside his giant transparent cone. The Rings Trio was hilarious and the men on the perches displayed amazing strength and thrilled us with their feats!
The couple on the Fixed Trapeze was delightful in a teasing yet innocent game of flirtation that ended in intertwining their bodies in some incredible movements and lifts. But my favorite act, if I had to pick one, would be the Roller Skaters.
This sensual act which portrayed a wedding ceremony was just breath taking in its beauty as the couple whirled at heart-stopping speed around a tiny platform shaped like a drum. It was just spectacular!!
After the show, my daughter, Rebekah, and I were treated to a backstage tour where we saw the warm up room and met one of the frogs!!
Our guide, Francis, explained to us that the patterns and colours for costumes of the frogs came from real frogs, including the most poisonous frog in the Amazon jungle, and are replicated by the pixelation of the image in the screen printing process. The textures of the fabrics are also a close match to the skin of frogs found in nature. The thin Lycra type fabric of all of the costumes aides in quick drying time because every costume in the show is washed after each performance.
We were amazed to find that each performer is taught to apply their own elaborate make up! It generally takes about an hour to be completed. (BTW, most of their make up is Mac!)
Totem takes you on a magical journey that will awe you with its athletic skills, amaze you with its creativity, almost stop your heart with its dare devil thrills and enchant you with its beauty. You do not want to miss it! This would be a wonderful Christmas present that everyone in the family would love!
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Note: Parking at Atlantic Station for the show is $10 and cash only.
For information about other family events, click HERE.