Last season Brisbane audiences were wowed by Cirque’s production of OVO. This year we welcomed TOTEM to Northshore Hamilton.
The first Cirque show I saw was OVO and I still remember the look on my teen children’s faces. My two boys were never into the Performing Arts so I knew the harshest critics would be them. By the end of the show they were ‘raving’ about the magic of Cirque and the talented artists.
This year I took my 70 year old Mum. She had never seen a Cirque show and I wanted her to witness Cirque through fresh eyes. This review combines her thoughts with mine, a seasoned reviewer.
The Cirque experience is like no other. Everything is different when it comes to Cirque. It takes over a week to pitch their Grand Tent and setup their venue ready to accommodate the patrons. The pre-show experience in Brisbane was delightful with flutes of champagne and popcorn at the ready. Browsing the merchandise is always fun although you might need to budget a little to be able to afford the really nice Cirque Apparel and Masks.
About the Show
Totem takes you on a journey through our evolution 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.
There are over 12 acts, each one of them as awe-inspiring as the other. My mother and I kept saying, “Is that possible?”, “Did that really happen?”, “How amazing!”
Kym Barrett’s initial approach to the TOTEM costume designs was rooted in documentary-based reality. This process entailed research into real animals, plants and birds as well as traditional cultural and tribal designs to source her fanciful, inventive concoctions.
As a fan of Cirque I respect the artistic representation of the costumes. The costumes attention to detail combined with the life-like movement of the artist adds to the overall believe-ability of the characters.
Mixed media plays a strong part in this production. Amazing set design combined with vivid moving image projections transport you to different locations on the planet. From desert and beach to outer space, you feel a part of the journey due to the design of the set.
Enough praise can’t be given to each and every artist who performs in Totem. They are truly gifted people with a zest for life. There are few superlatives to define these artists. Gifted – Dedicated – Brave – Passionate just scratches the surface.
I watched my Mum several times through Act 1 and 2 and her jaw dropped a few times. At one time she even partly covered her eyes because she didn’t think the aerial couple would survive the act. I’ve never seen her clap so hard and so often.
In conclusion, my parting words are thus:
At some point in your life you MUST watch a Cirque Du Soleil show. For even at 70 you can still experience life and all it’s beauty and majesty.
Totem is on in Brisbane until the 24th May. Click the button below to buy your tickets today.