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'Totem'is a story about man's relationship with nature, as well as with the flora and fauna around us. As with most Cirque du Soleil productions, there isn't a solid narrative, which some might find problematic if you're looking for a logical plot. Rather, imagery and connotative stories take centre stage.

Theatre Review (Singapore): ‘Totem’ by Cirque du Soleil

Totem's captivating set
Totem’s captivating set

Base Entertainment presents Totem by Cirque du Soleil from October 28 to December 13, 2015, under the Big Top which has been erected next to Marina Bay Sands.

Totem is a story about man’s relationship with nature, as well as with the flora and fauna around us. As with most Cirque du Soleil productions, there isn’t a solid narrative, which some might find problematic if you’re looking for a logical plot. Rather, imagery and connotative stories take centre stage.

As the performers took on the roles of frogs and apes amongst others, they didn’t fail to impress with their superhuman flexibility and daring. Jumping from high beam to higher beam, swinging on swings looming above, and managing precarious balancing acts – the Totem performers deliver on all those fronts. The show is indeed a canvas of what the human body – and mind – can do.

The mesmerizing set is a fabulous co-star. A slanted piece of structure cleverly placed hosts projected images, thereby making a pond, a sea, a dessert-like landscape, a vibrant grassland and other elements of nature seem to be actually there on stage.

The elaborate costumes are another highlight. Ranging from multicoloured amphibians to the delicate costuming of a ‘fairy’ to glittering and shimmering body suits, they captivate as much as the set and the performers do.

totem 2

Totem completely transports you into another world – one that is magical, fantastical and out of our usual realm of reality. For almost two hours, you’ll be enchanted by this world along with the acrobatic feats. The show will also remind adults of a time when their imagination seemed so real. The Cirque du Soleil tends to do that.

 

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About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

Ex-professor, Ex-phd student, current freelance critic, writer and filmmaker.

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