Totem a show of incredible athleticism

Totem a show of incredible athleticism

Be dazzled by Cirque du Soleil's Totem. Photograph — OSA Images.
Be dazzled by Cirque du Soleil’s Totem. Photograph — OSA Images.

Expect an assault on the senses by Cirque du Soleil’s latest pool of performers who dish up Totem to the high standard audiences have come to expect from the world-class production.

Whilst it takes you on a journey through the evolution of mankind, it is the limits pushed by the performers and the interactive stage that will remain with you long after the show is finished.

It is the weird, the wonderful and the athleticism that leaves you awestruck by the seemingly limitless bounds of the human body as performers leap, stretch, bend and fly through their acts.

An American Indian hoop dancer loops his way through a cultural performance while the provocative and funny Valentina will have you laughing along at his crudity.

Foot juggling by a pair of identical twins – the crystal ladies in dazzling costumes – will leave you amazed by their balance and co-ordination as they spin square pieces of material on their hands and feet.

Ladies on two-metre high unicycles toss bowls to each other with their hands and feet.
You have to see it to believe it – they land and stack on top of their heads in a remarkable display of timing and concentration.

A highlight of this performing arts spectacular is the sensuality of a couple on their wedding day, performed by two roller skaters, who spin at hearthrobbing speeds on a 1.8-metre round stage.

It invokes the fear of ‘what happens if they let go’ especially when they are held together at times only by neck straps.

You will laugh too – from the bulging beach attire to the cave man rock band in conflict with the modern man and his mobile phone.

The stage has a life of its own and complements those who use it.

Starting as an ancient turtle it melts and spashes through the ages as it turns from swamp to beach to volcano with lighting and mechanical effects.

Incredibly designed, it resembles the tail of a scorpion as part of it lifts into the air and flaps about, transforming from rocket to walk bridge or forest, sky or river.

The show is a collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and director Robert Lepage and has been performed more than 16,000 times since 2010.

Expect to be dazzled by the 46 acrobats, actors, musicians and singers from 17 countries wearing 750 costumes.

The equipment is shipped in 85 sea containers and the 19-metre high big top will be part of Burswood park racecourse until September 27.

Totem is one of 19 shows to be performed worldwide this year by Cirque du Soleil – a far cry from the company’s humble beginnings in Quebec, Canada as a streetshow in 1984.
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