SINGAPORE: Ten years after it last graced Singapore shores, renowned circus act Cirque du Soleil returns with a new feast for the eyes in the form of Totem.
Ahead of the show's opening on Wednesday (Oct 28), Channel NewsAsia got a taste of the high-flying spectacle. One of the highlights is a Russian Bars sequence where acrobats bounce from planks just 10cm wide.
One of those involved in the act is Nikita Moiseev, who has been with Totem ever since it started six years ago. The 20-year-old was born on tour on an Alegria show and his family remains with Cirque.
They soar in the air and land on bars just 10cm wide. A look at the Russian Bars act in Cirque du Soleil's Totem, opening tomorrow. http://bit.ly/1kM1Ymj (Video: Sherlyn Goh)Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Tuesday, October 27, 2015
His father is the coach and one of the porters in the same act. "My father has been travelling with the company for over 20 years. He's been doing Russian Bars for a very long time. I've been performing for 13 years, and I was travelling for most of my life."
Aside from the Russian Bars sequence, nine other acrobatic acts and two comedy routines make up the show which traces the evolution of the human species from an amphibian state. The show features a cast of 46 acrobats, actors and musicians hailing from 17 different countries and the production has travelled to 30 cities worldwide and has been seen by over 3.8 million people.
Said artistic director Neelanthi Vadivel: “Totem is slightly different than the other Cirque du Soleil shows in that we try to present it in very small groupings so that we get the highest skilled artist in a beautiful lush environment that we create with projections and with the scenic design and the lighting.
“It's very intimate. The audience is close to the action, so it's a beautiful experience,” she added.
Russian bar jumpers dressed as cosmonauts in a depiction of the future. (Photo: Sherlyn Goh)
Although Totem has the narrative of evolution as its backbone, it does not follow a chronological sequence under the vision of writer and director Robert Lepage.
“He really wanted it to jump back and forth through different time periods, different locations on the globe,” said Ms Vadivel. “So we're not trying to tell one story - we’re trying to tell everybody's story."
An artiste uses hoops to create dynamic shapes in a ritual that symbolises the endless circle of life. (Photo: Sherlyn Goh)
Totem runs at Cirque du Soleil's trademark blue-and-yellow Big Top at Bayfront Avenue opposite Marina Bay Sands. Its run was extended by two weeks to Dec 6 due to popular demand.
Cirque du Soleil's trademark blue-and-yellow Big Top. (Photo: Ngau Kai Yan)