At the weekend Team TWB (plus some extended family) headed into Manchester to the Arena to watch Toruk The First Flight the Cirque du Soleil performance inspired by the James Cameron film Avatar.
Myself and husband may be the only people I know that have never seen the film so this was going to be a complete new story to us, one that may require a bit of concentration but we were really excited.
After taking our seats we were looking down on an already pretty magnificent staging below. Then the music started and the narrator of the story began.
From the first moment we were all captivated, the music and the narration was mesmerising, the costumes and staging completely magnificent but the actors/acrobats were just unbelievable. Their skill, flexibility, lack of fear takes your breath away but more than that they tell the story, they take you there and I realised pretty early on that I had an inability to sit back in my chair, I was leaning forward throughout the whole performance as if I wanted to get closer to the action.
I have been to see Cirque du Soleil before (as have my family) and this show is different to those. In previous shows the action is so wide you do not know where to focus, there may be a lack of story-line and the music is super high tempo, it leaves you breathless.
Toruk is a full on experience where you follow a story; you have a start middle and end. But what makes this different is that it is less about the acrobatics and more about the whole production. Don’t get me wrong the cast are incredible and I will come back to those later, but it is so much more.
The staging is so beautiful, at the beginning the whole arena was covered in a silk that has an incredible setting projected on to it. This then revealed a central staging where a lot of the production is focused. Around the outside of the arena they had crafted rocks, at the entrance to the arena it started as a Tree but changed into cliff face due to the technology and light show and dotted around the arena were elaborate floral pieces that became part of the show in many ways.
So the staging was incredible but the performance also used incredible puppetry in the form of horses, dogs and the Toruk. They also introduced kite like displays, which were phenomenal because, without wind, it defied belief how they stayed in the air. The cast also brought in the the “Giant Loom” and the giant skeleton and used these as part of the performance.
Now let me get on to the cast…….
Aside from the stunning costumes, which transform the cast to these mythical creatures, their skill, flexibility, lack of fear is just astounding. Their energy never seemed to wain at all throughout but the way they crafted their bodies into such beautiful shapes was pure art. All around the area the performers were bounding around as if on springs but with a precision that seems impossible.
I think you can gather that I/we loved it. We were captivated from start to finish and what a finish it was with an absolutely stunning finale around the Tree of Souls.
If you do get a chance to see this show then I would absolutely recommend it and if you have seen a Cirque du Soleil performance before then prepare for a different albeit thoroughly exciting experience.
Why not PIN this review of Toruk First Flight