Go behind the curtain of one of Cirque du Soleil’s masterpieces.
Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK—The First Flight is unlike any stage show that the company has presented before. It promises an immersive new experience that takes audiences into the world of Pandora as inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar.
There is no doubt that a lot of work, dedication and grit has gone into the production of the show. There are so many pieces that have gone into making one spectacular masterpiece.
In his first collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, Patrick Martel acted as the puppet master for TORUK. As his title might give away, he headed the process of giving life to some of the show’s most magical creatures—some of which had never existed before in the world of Pandora.
Like with any Cirque du Soleil show, the acrobatics are an integral part of TORUK. The actors, acrobats and staff worked hand in hand to make sure that the movement was fluid and that the harnesses gave enough freedom and control. They experimented with different materials to reach the most efficient structures and—of course—practiced until perfection.
While acrobatics are impressive on their own, the impact is often heightened when the artists move in synchronicity. Tuan Le and Tan Loc headed the choreography of the show, and what they achieved is nothing short of outstanding. While offering their interpretation of the Na'vi movements as seen in Avatar, they also gave the artists a level of freedom to create their own improvised movements.
Makeup and Costume
As they were, the Na’vi were visually appealing. But in the movie business, it’s relatively easy to manipulate an image with the help of a computer. On the other hand, Cirque was left with the large obstacle of bringing these characters to life on stage. It took hours of brainstorming, topped off with hours of actual experimentation. The result? Costumes that look like they were made by Na’vi hands, giving an organic feel to the wardrobe. Overall, the effect is a compelling look that is both realistic yet mystical.