By Rod Stafford Hagwood, SouthFlorida.com
7:14 PM EST, January 2, 2013
Cirque du Soleil’s “Totem” takes it all back to the beginning.
“It takes us through the most-primitive station of man and our need to always progress forward as a species,” artistic director Tim Smith explains during a telephone interview. “We progress from the ground upward, which would mean space. What’s great about Cirque du Soleil is that you get to see the human body in flight, and that’s a dream everyone has.”
“Totem,” which will open Jan. 10 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens — uses circus-performing acrobats and athletes to trace the journey of humans from amphibious creatures to soaring beings. “Totem” is defined as an object, especially from nature, that is adopted as a spiritual emblem.
Inside a 66-foot-high blue-and-yellow “big top” tent that seats about 2,600 people, audiences will see trapeze artists, hoop dancers, jugglers and roller skaters. It’s all lavishly produced with vividly hued costumes and multi-morphing sets.
“There are these acts doing these amazing disciplines from all over the world that you’ve never seen, and it’s all right there before your eyes,” adds Smith, whose background is in Broadway with shows such as “Grease,” “Aida,” “Sweet Charity” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”
“We have these beautiful ladies from Inner China on these 9-foot unicycles doing these amazing stunts. We have an amazing ring-trio act, where they are flying right over your head,” Smith says. “There’s this Russian bar act, where they leap from one bar to the next. It’s all done to original music sung live. That’s the thing about Cirque du Soleil: After 25 years, they continue to top themselves. They’ve really outdone themselves.”
IF YOU GO
Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Totem’
When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays (5 p.m. Sundays); 4 p.m. matinees Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays
Where: Sun Life Stadium, 2269 N.W. 199th St., Miami Gardens
Contact: 800-450-1480 or CirqueDuSoleil.com/totem
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