Audiences of Irvine are awaiting their opportunity to take the one and only fascinating "journey
into the evolution of mankind" as depicted by Totem Cirque du Soleil. To speak the words "evolution of mankind," audiences
should know that the Cirque du Soleil offers more than what one might at experience at home, dedicating an evening to read
Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. Totem takes its audience on a journey from when the human species was an amphibian
state, acknowledging the human's desire to one day fly. The story depicts numerous myths of how human beings have progressed
by utilizing acrobats as a tool of communication. During the present tour, audiences will have the opportunity to explore
the relationship between science and legend, man and its fellow species and dreams and potential. Totem Cirque du Soleil is
presently touring and will visit: Los Angeles, CA; Irvine, CA; Santa Monica, CA; Portland, OR; and Vancouver, BC. In all cities,
there are both matinee and evening showings. Totem opens on November 21 and runs until December 29 in Irvine, CA at the Grand
Chapiteau in the Orange County Great Park. The schedule includes the following dates and times: Thursday, November 21 at 8:00
PM; Friday, November 22 at 8:00 PM; Saturday, November 23 at 4:30 PM and 8:00 PM; Sunday, November 24 at 1:00 PM and 4:30
PM; Tuesday, November 26 at 8:00 PM; Wednesday, November 27 at 8:00 PM; Thursday, November 28 at 8:00 PM; Friday, November
29 at 8:00 PM; Saturday, November 30 at 4:30 PM and 8:00 PM; Sunday, December 1 at 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM; Friday, December 6
at 8:00 PM; Saturday, December 7 at 4:30 PM and 8:00 PM; Sunday, December 8 at 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM; Friday, December 13 at
8:00 PM; Saturday, December 14 at 4:30 PM and 8:00PM; Sunday, December 15 at 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM; Friday, December 20 at 8:00
PM; Saturday, December 21 at 4:30 PM and 8:00 PM; Sunday, December 22 at 1:00 Pm and 4:30 PM; Friday, December 27 at 8:00
PM; Saturday, December 28 at 4:00 Pm and 8:00 PM; and Sunday, December 29 at 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM. Irvine audiences will not
want to miss out on the opportunity to see how Cirque du Soleil has found yet another way to captivate audiences after its
30-year long journey.
Cirque du Soleil utilized the technology of projection to transform the scenes
created for Totem. For example, they illuminated star-filled nights, swamps, lakes and volcanoes. In many cases, the kinetic
technology seems to respond to the movements of the cast in real-time and even in pre-recordings. The turtle set not only
serves its role as part of Totem's scenic design, it is also designed in such a way that it is also equipment for the acrobats.
What is outstanding is that the turtle weighs 2,700 pounds, which is reassuring in terms of its sturdiness to secure safe
acrobatic art. Another interesting (and relatively quirky aspect) is that the marsh reeds found on stage are inflatable to
ensure easy transport from production to production.
The story has been depicted by the San Francisco
Chronicle as "whimsically seductive," while others have referred to it as artful and ironic. The theme found in the story
of Totem is the evolution of humanity, calling upon pre-existing myths of the origin of man. What it means for humanity to
have evolved from an amphibian state to a place where humans like the Wright brothers believed humans were destined to take
flight. While there is the main theme, it is the performers, costumes and the set that give its audience the opportunity to
explore the them through their first-hand account.
The performance cast consist of fifty-two artists,
who collectively come from nineteen different countries. The principal characters are The Scientist (performs experiments
during his travels of Totem's diverse worlds) T Tracker (the Scientist's guide), The Amerindian Dancer (the one who traces
the evolution of species), The Crystal Man (the one who opens and closes the show), Clown 1 (a sad fisherman), Clown 2 (an
Italian tourist), Apes (a troupe of performers who depict the transition from ape to what could be the Davos Man or simply
a businessman with a cell phone).
Totem was introduced to Canadian and European, and now the
remainder of the North American audiences by Cirque du Soleil, which is a Canadian company that combines both circus arts
and street entertainment. Cirque du Soleil was founded by Guy Laliberte and Gilles Ste-Croix and is led by Daniel Lamarre,
its President and CEO. Cirque du Soleil Totem premiered in Montreal in April 2010. Totem was written and directed by Robert
Lepage and has been awarded the 2013 New York Drama Des Award for Unique Theatrical Experience (it is circus-esque, after
all). The Director of Creation is Neilson Vignola. The Creative team consists of Carl Fillion (Set and Props Designer), Guy
Dubuc and Marc Lessard (Composers), Kym Barett (Costume Designer), Etienne Boucher (Lighting Designer), Jeffrey Hall (Choreographer),
Jacques Boucher (Sound Designer), Nathalie Simard (Makeup Designer), Florence Pot (Acrobatic Performance Designer), Pierre
Masse (Rigging Designer) and Pedro Pires (Projection Designer). Totem started its tour in Europe and his now well on its way
to mesmerizing the rest of North American.