Toruk – First flight: the risk of Cirque!

spectacle-raconte-tentatives-trois-jeunes(Bossier City, Louisiana) In two months the great Montreal premiere of Toruk Cirque du Soleil, La Presse went to Louisiana to see excerpts from immersive spectacle signed Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon.

We are limited in the small city of Shreveport, in northern Louisiana, near the Texas border. Just a few kilometers away, in the Century Link Center in Bossier City, Cirque du Soleil has been saying for two months Toruk his new show, inspired by the film Avatar, James Cameron.

This is where Cirque invited the North American media to present extracts from this arena show directed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, which brings together 35 artists on stage. An immersive spectacle that promises far less acrobatic than usual and for the first time will count on the presence of a narrator – who speaks in French in Montreal.

“We had the desire to innovate and change the way to the Circus, said Michel Lemieux. We do not want Alegria again for 30 years! We decided not to do high caliber numbers, we have often seen, but to focus the narrative acrobatic performance, that is to say acrobatics that serves the story. ”

Same story from the co-producer of the film Avatar, Jon Landau, who works on the three suites of the film – whose first phase is planned for 2017 and said he was delighted to see the Cirque du Soleil to appropriate the universe of Avatar. “What we realized is that fans of the film want to regain the world of Pandora. And this is what Cirque did. ”

An interpretation

Jon Landau, who approved all stages of creation of the show with James Cameron, explained giving access to the entire mythology of Pandora (in what he calls the Pandorapedia) to help to create Cirque his script. Although he has played an important role in the final development of the scenario, the Cirque who led the project, he insisted.

“If Jim [James Cameron] had wanted a version of his film, he would run himself, he has said. Us, we are here because we want to see the interpretation of Cirque du Soleil, “said Landau, recalling that the characters of Avatar were themselves inspired by those of Cirque du Soleil. “We even worked with a circus artist to direct the actors at the time!”


Anyway, nervousness and excitement were palpable creators yesterday. We are indeed within two weeks of the first representations of Toruk in Bossier City, which will have the chance to see the new Cirque du Soleil from November 12 before the band takes the northern route to her the first official December 21 at the Bell Centre.

We find no surprise the famous tree-house Omaticayas, represented by a huge inflatable structure, but every piece of scenery, the lush forest with mountain ranges, are represented through multimedia projections. As for the strange fauna of Pandora – équidius, wolves, vipers austrapèdes – it will be played by puppets.

Back 3000 years

As we already mentioned in last August, it is not an adaptation of the film. You do not find Jake Sully, Neytiri or even the young, whom he had fallen in love. No avatar therefore only Na’vi.

In fact, the story takes place on the moon of Pandora, but 3000 years before James Cameron’s screenplay.

In the original script, a volcanic eruption threatens the tree of souls, this enormous weeping willow that we see in the film and that symbolizes the Na’vi deity. Three young teenagers try to rally the clans to save the tree of souls. To do this, they must tame the toruk, the famous red bird Jake Sully had managed to coax into the film.


Cirque presented the first half hour of the second part of the show. We see many group choreographies, fight scenes with wolves, vipers, some Chinese pole acrobatics, kites racing and impressive handling of the huge bird toruk by six puppeteers. The narrator has spoken only twice.

“We take a risk, says Michel Lemieux, who also built dialogues Na’vi. You can not please everyone, but we will surprise. We, we want to break down the boundaries between disciplines. We wanted to tell a story, a quest, with characters that evoke the universe of Avatar, which for me is an ecological show. ”


The Stopru