This is the fourth Cirque du Soleil I have been lucky enough to see and every time I am blown away and think it can't get any better. Tuesday was the opening night at Moore Park and it did not fail to wow the audience.
TOTEM follows the journey of mankind, though I have to say this theme was a little lost on me for some of the show. It starts with a gigantic turtle carapace and frogs leaping around inside it and then performing some of the most amazing bar work I have seen. There was lots of stunning aerial works in the show, one in particular, the fixed Trapeze duo was extremely fluid and breathtaking. How he managed to hang upside down by his heals?
Totem included Native American hoop dancing, muscled beach acrobatics, clown fishing, air-guitaring cave-men, foot jugglers, a Charles Darwin-like scientist spinning balls inside a huge funnel and unicyclists juggling metal bowls on their heads, amazing balancing acts and leaps of faith with Russian bars, just to make a few things!
The set I think was one of the best ones I have seen designed by Carl Fillion who made the staging curved to reflect the natural world. TOTEM is an organic world which is mainly depicted through images which are projected onto the stage. Through the magic of these moving images the virtual swamp also becomes a river source, a marsh, a lake, an ocean, a volcanic island, a pond and a starry sky. A mechanical "scorpion bridge" which was at times a bridge, a boat and a plane, was a integral part of the show. This piece of machinery added to the mystery of the show.
The music was, as usual, live and costumes and make up this year were so detailed. Kym Barrett is the costume designer and she has used nature as the base for the costumes whether it is the seasons or fruit and seeds, it is all in this show!
Cirque du Soleil is a world class company and when you go to one of their shows you can see why.