The Captain and I had a blast last night at the Avatar Cirque du Soleil show in Birmingham!
The thing about this show is, it’s great from the Cirque du Soleil side as the performers are insanely talented flippers, jumpers, jugglers, and acrobats. So even if you don’t know a thing about the Avatar movie, it’s still a fantastic show. But it’s also super cool from the Avatar perspective because the costumes, makeup, and setting are perfect for the Na’Vi of Pandora, and the storyline involving multiple tribes of the Na’Vi people was compelling. The blend of these two worlds makes the Toruk show really unique.
My Avatar nerdiness reached epic levels. I’ll spare you the bulk of it here (but if you wanna gab about it, I AM YOUR PERSON), but the general gist is that the blue people are the Na’Vi. They live in a moon-world called Pandora. The Na’vi are made up of many tribes or clans, our favorite being the Omaticaya (the tribe from the movie Avatar). What’s unique about this Cirque du Soleil show is that it brings in the Omaticaya but also introduces the audience to several other tribes - the Tawkami, Anurai, Tipani, and Kekunan - all of whom have unique talents highlighted as part of the story.
It’s in Birmingham for this weekend only, so grab some tickets and squeeze it in. You won’t regret it!
I’m including a far better description of the show, cut from the promotional kit (and sharing here with permission).
“TORUK – The First Flight is a live immersive multimedia spectacle that brings to the stage the breathtaking world of James Cameron’s AVATAR like you have never seen it before. Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and 'makes the bond' between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.
This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. 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 clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.”
The tech-side of it was also highly fascinating to me! It’s truly a visually dynamic combination of technology, light, and color, and the inclusion of audience members’ smartphones as part of the show is a pretty cool idea as well.
“Total projection surface, excluding projections that reach out into the audience, is approximately 20,000 square feet, more than five times the size of a standard IMAX screen: 12,750 for the stage, 3,600 for the two lateral screens, and another 3,600 for the two columns of Hometree. There are 40 video projectors in all: half are 30,000-lumen each, the other half, 20,000-lumen. 22 video projectors are used for projections on the ground; 6 projectors send video images on Hometree; 2 projectors are dedicated to the two lateral screens; and 8 projectors are used for immersive projections into the audience.”
Every detail is carefully crafted to ensure an immersive and exciting experience. We absolutely loved every second of it, and I hope you’ll make plans to go see Cirque du Soleil Avatar Toruk today or tomorrow!