Forky's Sneak Preview of Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM

Forky

Silvia Ware and I had the opportunity to see a sneak preview of TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil last night. We are not going to bore you with a “text” story/overview of a show that deserves to be seen in person, but we are going to delve into what we saw and how we felt from our own personal perspective. If you are not familiar with Cirque de Soleil, they are a group of acrobats, dancers and other performers who put on a spectacle based around a specific theme. TOTEM is about the evolution of mankind with an artistic twist.

We arrived at the show housed in what appears to be a large yellow and blue tent much like an old fashioned circus tent. Once inside, the stadium seating is quite comfortable and the climate controlled temperature was perfect; an amazing accomplishment given the breezy and somewhat chilly evening. The stage set, piercing colorful lights, exhilarating sound, and sensations felt as the acrobats, musicians, and artists displayed their talents was an incredible delight for the human mind to absorb. The stage was gorgeous and forever changing thanks not only to props, but also projected images that ranged from animated flowing water to beautiful motionless patterns. In the background, partially hidden by bamboo, you could see the musicians playing live and singers chanting in perfect unison with the act at hand.

The performer’s costumes were gorgeous; from the skin tight perfectly adorned amphibious outfits in the beginning, to the more simply clothed acts midway and finally an almost indescribable glowing multi colored wardrobe toward the end. The talent was in exceptionally great shape although we wondered if a little airbrushing might have been involved. Silvia at one point during the show said: “Muscles, talent, spandex. I'll stop here. Yummm!” Need I say more?

In the first hour of the show you are engaged with anticipation like being on a roller coaster ride as it ascends a mountainous climb to the top. Some comic relief appears from time to time that will have your kids laughing. After a 30 minute intermission the show really takes off picking up speed till the very end. Each act in the last hour seems to somehow surpass the previous. Unlike some of the more complex acts with multiple people, spinning props and so on, two of the acts in the last hour are done by the duo of a man and a woman. The music coupled with the emotions displayed on their faces and the way they moved and engaged each other displayed what was an unmistakable, but tasteful act filled with sensual tension. All we have to say is man, woman and trapeze later followed by man, woman and roller skates – wow!

One act in particular that I found fascinating is called “manipulation”. It featured what appeared to be a scientist in a huge glass container that one might find in an old chemistry set. He juggled and moved globes of light around his body effortlessly. His movement and timing with the globes was remarkable, colorful, and imaginative.

Toward the end there was a landing or two by performers on the Russian bars that will get your attention. How did that not hurt? Please tell me!

Kudos to the entire crew that made this show possible. In this day and age of digital manipulation you find yourself leaving with a sense accomplishment for what can be done in the analog world with a finely tuned mind & body. In this show you can’t undo or edit scene three with a click of the mouse.

This is a show the entire family will enjoy from age six to one hundred and six. Should you decide to go, and we suggest you do, you are in for a delightful show that will tantalize your senses and arouse your emotions.

Click here to find out more about the show and to purchase discounted tickets. 20% off for friends of Baltimore Eats!


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