5 Reasons to See Cirque du Soleil’s “Totem”

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Russian bars in Cirque du Soleil's "Totem." (OSA Images)

Russian bars in Cirque du Soleil's "Totem." (OSA Images)

Cirque du Soleil’s breathtaking show “Totem” is now playing in Santa Monica at the Santa Monica Pier thru March 16th.

Each of Cirque du Soleil’s shows has its own unique theme, and this one is no different. “Totem” explores the journey and evolution of mankind from our amphibian roots, Neanderthals, to the present day man.

This show is a must see, and here are five reasons why you shouldn’t miss “Totem.”

I know that seems like a bizarre thing to comment on, but if you have ever been to a Cirque show, then you’ll understand. They have the most beautiful set design with vibrant colors and stages that are specific to the acts being performed. This stage alone held so many functions and was built to move up, down, forward, and backwards. It’s almost spellbinding. There are scenes that involve things floating down from the tent’s sky and props pop up from the floor. Everything is so unexpected, and that adds to the mystique of the show.

Music is always such an integral part of Cirque du Soleil, and it’s performed live while the show is happening. They are hidden behind bamboo trees where they chime and sing with each performance. At points throughout the show some of the musicians take the stage and sing while an act is taking place above their heads, or swinging around them. There is always an enchanting feel to the music, which one can get lost in. Each act is perfectly choreographed to every single beat.

Every show has a distinct theme with dynamic costumes. They are their own part of the show and each act has their lone vision – from sparkling body suits, ethnic Native American garb, traditional Chinese silks, to make believe amphibian bodysuits. Some segments of the show have acts where there are many topless men. That’s not bad to look at as they soar above you or hold themselves up doing the unthinkable.

Make Up
Along with the costumes, the make up artists deserve a shout out. They transform the performers. Some people are literally altered into these fascinating creatures. When blended with the set, and costumes, this is the top off that brings everything together.

I have saved the best for last. These performers are acrobats, dancers, gymnast, and all around outer worldly. They perform the inconceivable and leave you cringing with nervous energy and excitement. You wonder how in the world they are bending their bodies that way, or how they have enough strength to support themselves in the unorthodox positions. They never cease to amaze.

“Totem” runs through March 16 at the Santa Monica Pier. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit cirquedusoleil.com.

Ariel Paredes is a Contributing Writer for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle and entertainment. Follow her on Twitter: @RELworld
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