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.
The show starts off with a a giant turtle shell at center stage represents the origins of life on Earth. The creature’s shell is whisked away to reveal an incredible jungle gym of sorts. Acrobats dressed in glowing costumes as frogs and fish bust into amazing gymnastic routines on the parallel bars with a trampoline built into the stage. Actors launched themselves leaping from bar to bar, with some even criss-crossing in mid-air, while I just held my breath! There was so much activity in that space with the multiple acrobats, my eyes were darting like a tennis match so I wouldn’t miss anything.
The acts following were a wonderful combination of high in the sky acrobatics. I loved the Bollywood-inspired music, and the trio that performed on the rings. Their graceful movements, sheer physical strength, and perfectly sculpted bodies were mezmerizing to watch. Fellow bloggers @BalancingMama and @StaciB were right there with me with their oohs and ahs. It was like being at a fireworks show on the Fourth of July!
If you have never been to a Cirque du Soleil show, you may think it’s all acrobatics. That’s certainly not true. There is also a good amount of typical circus humor woven through the acts. This guy was hilarious waving his hands, and speaking complete Italian inspired gibberish. He made frequent appearances throughout the show.
Of course no circus would be complete without the acts that nearly stop you heart! Look closely! The actor holding the pole is fully supporting the weight on his FOREHEAD! I almost passed out! This whole section of the show I was subconciously holding my breath! The height of the poles the acrobats effortlessly scaled, was almost as intense as the individuals responsible for holding and supporting the poles while they climned. It was crazy!
Now, I don’t want to spoil the show for you by telling you about every act, and all their details. I will tell you though, that for my first Cirque du Soleil show, I was completely hypnotized by the music and the beauty of the entire fantastic show. I can’t wait to see another.
Cirque du Soleil has 21 different shows touring around the world. The company’s employees and artists represent close to 50 nationalities and speak 25 different languages. Close to 15 million people will see a Cirque du Soleil show in 2012. I am very glad I can be counted as one of them, and also am excited to see which show arrives in Atlanta next!
All photographs and images used in this post were provided to me by the marketing agency. Photo credit for all pictures featured were from the Totem’s dress rehearsal before the opening and are by Pouya Dianat/Cirque du Soleil.
Disclosure: I was provided complimentary tickets to the show in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.