Australian Dance Reviews

Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Totem’ has Sydney premiere

The Entertainment Quarter, Sydney
October 28, 2014

By Kristy Johnson of Dance Informa.

The French-Canadian circus juggernaut premiered its latest production in Sydney to a standing ovation in late October. Totem, Cirque du Soleil’s latest big-budget spectacle, detailed the story of humankind’s evolution.

The Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park was transformed into an arena that showcased all the sparkle and showbiz traits you would expect from a Cirque show, whilst also displaying a sense of earthiness and human drama.

Audience members, including a vast array of Australian TV personalities and celebrities, were treated to Native American hoop dancing, muscled beach acrobatics, trapeze romance, a dazzling performance by crystal-covered foot jugglers, unicyclists juggling metal bowls, and performers who spin on roller skates on a large drum.

Cirque du Soliel's 'Totem'.

Cirque du Soliel’s ‘Totem’. Photo by OSA Images.

Belarus twins and crystal-covered foot jugglers Marina and Svetlana Tsodikova spun eight bejewelled squares of fabric on their arms and legs whilst lying upside down on blue velvet chairs. This was a captivating performance, but the standout of the night would have to be the five unicyclists.

Bai Xiangjie, Hao Yuting, He Xuedi, Wu Yurong and Yang Jie, dressed in a feathered and flowered number, pedalled around the stage in perfect synchronicity as they caught metal bowls on their heads that were flung from their feet.

The costumes, set design and mesmerising live music set the scene for an intriguing production that had everyone wanting more. Cirque du Soleil definitely has another hit on their hands.

Photo (top): Cirque du Soleil’s Totem. Photo by OSA Images.

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