The night I went to see Cirque du Soleil: TOTEM at Atlantic Station, I did not know what to expect. I often saw the yellow and blue striped, wisp-like tents from the highway, but I had never been in them until that night. And I will never forget it.

As a show, TOTEM uncovers the curiosity and the potential of the human race to embody origins of all species. Beginning in the amphibian state and eventually to the ultimate desire to fly, TOTEM uncovers the amazing evolutionary progress of the human species.

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A physical set design that you could not miss was the gigantic turtle skeleton  that makes it debut during the start of the show. According to tradition, the turtle represents origin in certain ancient civilizations. In this show, it’s aesthetically pleasing as it is lifted majestically up and down for acrobatic use. One fact that I learned while backstage of the show, is that the turtle represents the earth and carries much of the world’s weight on its shell according to some traditions. Very interesting to me.

Also, some of the acts were simply magnificent. There is no other way to describe them. Don’t expect elephants balancing on a beach ball or tigers slapping chairs out of their trainer’s hands. Manipulation, for example, involves the Scientist (one of the show’s main characters) standing in a transparent cone curiously juggling with a number of luminous balls that eventually “chase after” each other. They could represent planets, or they could represent molecules. That’s the thing with Cirque, you come up with your own interpretation. The show evokes your own senses to help you come up with your own show. Your creativity is the star.

Speaking of stars, walking backstage, I got a chance to see what it’s like to be a Cirque star. Let me tell you, it’s awesome. With over 170 touring employees and artists, this show has tingled the senses of over 15 cities across four different countries. One thing that I was fascinated and comforted by, was the fact that these employees and artists are all one big family. No one is left out. Around seventeen countries are represented within the cast, and everyone appreciates every single culture.

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I could go on speaking forever about TOTEM and it’s amazing story both on and off stage…but I’ve got a word limit. If you have not seen TOTEM, do it. It is worth it. You probably won’t be sobbing at the end like I did, but your heart will definitely be warmed.

The show will run until December 30th, so you’ve still got a chance.

To get your tickets, visit:

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–Wendell Scott