As much a part of the Australian theatre landscape as our domestic musicals, Cirque du Soliel has become a mainstay of the entertainment world – and for good reason. Their latest show, TOTEM, is no exception.

Focusing on the history of evolution, TOTEM, is a vibrant and dynamic exploration of all things natural. Featuring lush landscapes and explosive sets, the story of TOTEM takes you from intimate moments to spectacular group numbers in the blink of an eye. The world is rich and colourful, and unlike any other Cirque du Soleil show you may have seen (unbelievable I know).

Opening  with a scene on a  lake as frogs welcome the passing of seasons we are quickly taken to a scene with a troupe of imposing unicycles. Here they perform amazing feats of accuracy throwing bowls with one foot onto the heads of their colleagues – never a dull moment.

It wouldn’t be a Cirque du Soleil show without fabulous costumes, and Kym Barret has lead the team to success with her work for TOTEM. Taking references from the natural environment, Kym emulated the body pattern of tropical frogs for the opening costumes. The costumes are given a six month life cycle and are recreated in Montreal for use.

Notably a worldwide success, TOTEM has been touring since 2010 with 85% of the original cast.

“These people are my family,” says David aka. Crystal Man. With certain performers travelling with their family and homeschooling them on the road, this really becomes a world of its own.

In this writers humble opinion, it’s shows like Cirque du Soleil that validate why we should go and see live perfomance. In a world dominated with pop musicals and pre-recorded scores, to see talented and trained performers performing feats that really are superhuman, is the reason we should all go and see theatre. A standout show – a must see.

For more information on Cirque du Soleil TOTEM you can click here.

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About The Author

Thom Whilton

Thom Whilton is co-Founder and current Creative Director of He has been published in a variety of publications for his written and styling work. Thom has been featured in, Weekend Weekly, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, M Magazine, The Vine and Everguide to name just a few. Thom was also Ambassador for the City of Melbourne (2012) has styled for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (2012) and his work has featured in Couturing and MX Magazine. He has also styled celebrities such as Delilah (Warner Music, supported Prince in tour), Nadia Coppolino and Silvana Lovin-Philoppousis.

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