TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil - Totem

TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil

Boston, Now Playing
Washington DC Area, Opens August 15
Atlanta, GA, Opens October 25
Miami, FL, Coming Soon

There are those who can present a circus … and there are those who can present a circus in classic style. Written and directed by Quebec-based Robert Lepage, who created the Cirque du Soleil show “,” TOTEM debuted in Montreal in April 2010 and is now playing in Boston.

Cirque du Soleil Totem

Unlike most Cirque du Soleil shows that feature a New Age mysticism, TOTEM reaches into the natural world and the evolutionary progress of humans and other species – specifically, the turtle. Akin to other Cirque shows, the lack of a linear plot leaves much of the show open to interpretation. A giant turtle shell on stage and surrounding swamp reeds invoke the natural process of life from amphibian state toward the aspiration of flight … and do these performers take flight.

Cirque Performers

If you have experienced Cirque du Soleil, then you know that the audience is wowed by various elements of gymnasts, contortionists, comedy, high-flying trapeze, acts of balance, extraordinary lighting and ingenious costuming. One is always amazed at what the human body is capable of achieving; and the six-pack abs required for twisting themselves into positions that most of us never even knew existed.  The surreal music combined with the Cirque character artistry draws the viewer into a sensual energy that heightens the senses in an appreciation of human feat.

Cirque du Soleil

What may be most amazing of any Cirque du Soleil production is the logistical engineering of creating the experience that is typically presented on a vacant plot of land or parking lot. Think cast, crew, family, and significant others numbering around 175, who come from numerous different countries, and who all need to be fed and housed and schooled and carted back and forth to work for up to nine weeks per city, for years at a time. Think 65 tractor-trailers worth of equipment including the recognizable blue and yellow tent that seats 2,600 and is made from almost six tons of canvas.


Of all the many productions of Cirque du Soleil that I have personally witnessed … and there have been many … not one have I departed feeling less-than-thrilled with the performance. Kudos to Cirque du Soleil who, for 28 years, has entertained so many millions of spectators around the world with twenty-one different productions to date.

What are your favorite Cirque du Soleil productions?


TOTEM, Cirque du Soleil

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