I saw Cirque du Soleil’s Totem yesterday (September 9) in the Washington, D.C. area after driving five and a half hours from Greensboro, NC. I saw O in Las Vegas several years ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If I had the money I would see all the Cirque du Soleil shows. Totem, In D.C. was performed under a custom built big top tent which they call the Grand Chapiteau. You enter the tent at ground level and descend towards the circular stage which is built below ground level to allow for stadium seating. Once inside the tent you forget that this is a temporary structure with a fabric roof. The venue is fitted with state of the art lighting, sound, video projection, rigging, and mechanical stage lifts. And for everyone’s comfort the tent was air conditioned. Wikipedia has an excellent article describing some of the technical details behind the show. Totem will be in Washington, D.C. until October 7. Later the show moves to Atlanta and then Miami.
The thing I like best about Cirque du Soleil is that every act flows smoothly into the next act. Every move from the entrance on stage to the final bow is thought out and carefully choreographed. I drove 300 miles and paid $150 to see Totem and it was worth every bit.
List of acts:
Parallel bars and trampoline
Rings trio – much like gymnastics rings except high in the air
Chinese unicycle and bowls – fantastic act
Foot juggling – rug spinning
Perches – climbing and balancing on poles more than 30 feet tall
Hand Balancing – hand stands, acrobatics, etc.
Cone juggling – juggling inside a 10 foot tall clear cone
Roller skate – beautiful act. A pair of roller skaters spin and whirl on a drum-shaped platform in a scene that evokes a wedding night
Russian bar – Acrobats flip and bounce off of flexible beams held by burly assistants