Cirque du Soleil Totem at the Royal Albert Hall

I grew up on Cirque du Soleil. It’s one of those creative adventures that can only be born out of Quebec. For some, or many reasons Montreal is like a micro hub of creative activity. It’s a wonderful place and ’s Totem, created under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberte and Giles Ste-Croix is breath taking, it’s a visual feast! It’s everything you expect from Cirque du Soliel and Robert Lepage. Seeing a show at Royal Albert Hall is always an event and of course there is always ice cream and cocktails at intermission.

Totem is the story of the evolutionary progress of species, where have we come from and where are we going? There are frogs and water, monkeys and apes, men on the beach and girls on bikes, all evolving on a giant turtle – the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations…

This is a true multimedia performance, using live musicians, projections, lighting, sets that transform and even the turtle skeleton weighing 2,700 pounds floats into the sky. Cirque de Soleil uses the vertical like no one else! You have to admire the set design and the rigging team!

I loved the girls on unicyles. It was extraordinary.The unicycles are 7 feet (2 m) tall but very light, which makes them easier to manoeuvre down the ramp at the beginning of the act. Cycling about, tossing and catching tea cups – quite exciting! Having a theatre background, I really appreciated costume designer Kym Barrett’s creations. Each of girls were slightly different with hair and make-up giving them each their own personality but still a unified look.

The Crystal Man—a recurring character in the show— represents the life force. His costume is entirely covered in small mirrors and crystals made up of about 4,500 reflective components on a stretch velvet leotard weighing 8lbs.

Costume Facts
• There are 779 costume pieces of in the Totem wardrobe
(including shoes, headpieces, accessories, etc.)
• A team of 6 people clean, iron, repaint the shoes and maintain the in the wardrobe department.
• The artists apply their own make-up, which can take between
30 minutes to an hour and a half. Except for the frogs, as part
of their make-up is air brushing.



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