The word “totem” contains the idea of the order of species.
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.
Since its world premiere in 2010, TOTEM visited over 14 different cities in 4 different countries and performed in front of more than 1.5 million spectators. TOTEM marks the 10th Cirque du Soleil Big Top touring show visit to Atlanta since 1991.
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. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations. 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.
The cast of TOTEM comprises 52 performing artists from 17 countries. Where do you house a troop of traveling performers while they are visiting our fair city? Why in their own village, of course.
I am in awe of Cirque du Soleil’s mobile village includes the Grand Chapiteau (Big Top), one large entrance tent, artistic tent, box office, kitchen, school, offices, warehouses and more. The village is completely self-sufficient for electrical power, and only relies only on a local water supply, and telecommunication facilities to support its infrastructure.
A few amazing facts about the site:
- It takes 8 days to set up and 3 days to deconstruct.
- A total of 65 trailers are needed to transport the 1,200 tons of equipment that TOTEM carries around. A few of these trailers are used during the season as storage spaces, kitchen and workshops.
- Four 500 kva generators provide electricity to the Grand Chapiteau and the entire set-up.
- The Grand Chapiteau, the artistic tent and the Tapis Rouge tent are entirely climate controlled.
The brilliant artists of TOTEM exhibit incredible physical strength and graceful movement while entertaining the audience with gymnastic feats on parallel bars, climbing, and a fixed trapeze. The agile actors not only use narrative dance and hoops to create static and dynamic shapes, but there is even a pair of roller skaters spinning and whirling at heart-stopping speeds atop a tiny platform. Yes! Your read correctly! Roller skates! But this and more is all considered typical in the mind-blowing environment that is a Cirque du Soleil show!
The mission of Cirque du Soleil is to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses, and evoke the emotions of people around the world. I for one can’t wait to check out TOTEM! Be sure to check back here after the 15th, when I will be sharing my review of the show! I am so excited! Can you tell by all the exclamation points?!!!!
Tickets for TOTEM can be purchased at any time online via www.cirquedusoleil.com/totem, or at the Cirque du Soleil box office, located inside the entrance tent at Atlantic Station.
You can follow them on Twitter: @cirque – hashtag #TOTEM and visit this link for Atlanta show schedule and ticket information.