Cirque du Soleil’s flight of fancy

PUBLISHED: 16:06 06 January 2011 | UPDATED: 16:14 06 January 2011

Cirque du Soleil comes back to London

Cirque du Soleil comes back to London


IT’S that time of year again when the world’s most famous gravity-defying circus troupe takes to the London stage.

Cirque du Soleil – the Quebec-based powerhouse which has been churning out the most supple, fearless and imaginative performers on the circuit for years – is hoping its latest show Totem will provide some shocks.

Tracing the journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to heights that only the circus ensemble have managed to achieve, the show takes the troupe in a more experimental direction.

The skill of the performers is, as ever, sure to be breath-taking.

No circus act uses equipment and props in the ingenious and imaginative ways Cirque has managed to over its many international tours.

But writer and director Robert Lepage wants more from his performers this time.

He wants to portray a story – something that the company has found more challenging in its two decades-plus history.

“Totem explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and infinite potential” is the description in the show’s blurb.

The characters will writhe on the floor, fly through the air and of course, navigate their environment with the elegance that we have come to expect from artists associated with the company.

The company’s main shortfall over the years has not been its ability to ignite our passion for acrobatics and movement but to get the messages of its various shows across without them seeming an irrelevant footnote to the spectacular choreography.

“Somewhere between science and legend” is the mantra of the show – and no doubt it will want to appeal to both our minds and our imaginations.

Cirque du Soleil runs at the Royal Albert Hall until February 17.

Go to for tickets.

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