Wish “Avatar” was real life? Cirque du SoleiI’s “TORUK” could be just what you’ve been waiting for…

Cirque TORUK 22529__LPH9122_ORIGINAL

Photo: Errisson Lawrence Costumes: Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil is one of those theater experiences that I always figured I wasn’t classy enough for.  Too cool for me and my nerdy self, I thought.  I’d have to be able to speak French.  Or at least pronounce Cirque properly.  Then I headed out to Dralion years ago, and was happily surprised at how much I enjoyed it, and how accessible it is.  Sure, it’s gorgeous; so much so that I almost felt intimidated by their otherworldly, fascinating, commercials.  Apparently Cirque has decided to go with their strong suit, because their newest production, TORUK – The First Flight, is inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar.  You can’t get any other-world cooler than the Na’vi. Synopsis!

TORUK – The First Flight, inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, a live experience by Cirque du Soleil®, envisions a world beyond imagination set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film. It is a live immersive multimedia  spectacle that brings to the stage the breathtaking world of James Cameron’s AVATAR.  Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stage craft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to the movie’s imaginative world and “Makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.  It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands.  Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky.  Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clan to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.

Cirque has always had a wonderful way with set design and lighting, but this time it looks like they’ve really taken it to 11 with TORUK.  And I’m not just saying that because I’d love to romp around in one of their 6-legged animal costumes.  What?  They’re way cool. But what I find especially interesting is the set. It looks enormous.  Apparently it’s so gigantic that they had to practice at CenturyLink Center in Louisiana, just to find a place large enough.  I know.  I’m salivating too.  And as Avatar 2 is starting production – with several more sequels to come – the time is right to get back into the world of the Na’vi.

TORUK – The First Flight opens in Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena on Thursday, June 9th, and will run through June 12th.  Check out the promo video below, and tell me you don’t want to run around with those groovy 6-legged animals yourownself.

[NOTE: I’ve received opening night tickets in exchange for an honest review.  Keep your eyes peeled for that later this week!]
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