Last Friday Mi.Vida and I went to see Cirque du Soleil’s Totem here in San Francisco. I was beside myself with excitement because I LOVE Cirque du Soleil and we had been given free tickets in exchange for a pre and post-show post (hence the post you’re reading right now). Anyway, I was elated to go and see a my favorite group put on a show in my home town. I really had exceedingly high expectations.
And every. single. one. of. them. were. met. And then some. Seriously. This show was incredible. I had a truly fabulous time.
The first thing that struck me was the fact that the show is under a tent! A circus under an actual big top! For some reason that delighted the child in me.
When we walked into the main tent I realized two things simultaneously – we were in the very back row and that didn’t matter because the tent was so small, the back row was actually really close. I was also immediately impressed with what they had done with the space. For being in such a small tent, the show felt huge and the sets were as intricate and fantastical as I knew the costumes would be.
The set ended up impressing me even more than I expected. Once the show started it was clear that every piece of space would be used in a creative and interactive way. The entire back drop was delineated by long blades of grass. These gave way to a wide ramp that led to the main ring. The ramp actually ended up pulling back, opening up and even transforming into space ships and speed boats throughout the show. When it wasn’t an active member of the performance it was a stunning backdrop as crashing waves, rushing streams, idyllic ponds and alien terrain were projected on to it. At one point it looked as though people were swimming in a huge, clear pool until they appeared at the surface as actual performers. The effect was seamless and just one example of how masterfully the space was integrated into the show.
And the show! Oh the show was breathtaking. Each act combined incredible skill and ability with gorgeous costumes and enticing live music. There were trapeze artists, women on very high unicycles kicking bowls onto each others heads, men doing acrobatics while balancing on thin beams, held up by men standing on thin beams held up by other men (year, just take a minute to picture that) and a man and a woman performing insane feats on roller skates a top small drum (truly, I can’t even describe how crazy it was) to name only a small few. Each act began with me smiling wide; quickly my mouth would drop open in disbelief only to be immediately filled with my hands as I nervously bit my nails in anticipation which resulted in a final, victorious shout of glee as they achieved whatever insane stunt they were attempting.
I can’t remember the last time I so thoroughly enjoyed two hours. It was truly a magnificent show and I was so grateful to see it. If you’re in the area at all in the next couple months I HIGHLY recommend you take the time to see Cirque du Soleil’s Totem. It really is unforgettable.