Cirque du Soleil TOTEM – my review

Before seeing the new show, now playing in Amsterdam, I knew I’d love it.

At least 20 friends from Cirque told me I would, and they tend to be very critical of their own product.

TOTEM is great. Weird, but great.

Normally I go to see the acrobatics. The more flips and twists, the better.

This show does not have as much acrobatics as usual. But I still loved it. Our group, mostly women’s judges from World Championships, enjoyed a backstage tour.

Themes: evolution, physics, indigenous peoples … Totem has plenty of monkeys. … I assume that’s Darwin juggling flourescent balls in the big plexiglass cone. (Why didn’t I think of that act! I’d be rich.)

The hoop dancer, Nakotah LaRance, is fantastic. He does a traditional act straight up. It’s awesome.

In another act, First Nations peoples are on roller skates! … And it’s intensely sensual. Only Cirque would conceive something like this.

Sometimes the shocking costumes are a distraction. But they really work well in this show.

Not shown there is the best of all, the Crystal Man, a human disco ball. That suit has 4,500 mirrors, costing $15,000. And they have 3 back stage!

The music is wonderful: Bollywood, First Nations drumming, ambient, world beat, didgeridoo, throat singing, even flamenco.

As in all the new shows, the computerized lighting effects are critical. Click PLAY to watch a feature on how they were created.

Robert Lepage created this show, a mad genius. I never attempt to decipher the plot lines of Cirque shows. Better to let it wash over you.

Click PLAY or watch Lepage on YouTube.

Last shout out. Everyone loves one comic character, an oddball Italian tourist. (Or something.) That guy is hilarious, perhaps my favourite Cirque clown yet.

If you get the chance, see it. TOTEM is an astonishingly mature show for one so new. I doubt they’ll tinker with it much. It works.

Disclosure: Cirque du Soleil paid for my ticket. But I rave about their shows even when I’m buying. The disclosure is that I love CdS. I’m a bloody fan boy. You can’t trust my opinion.

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