Cirque du Soleil is know for its magic and mystery, spine tingling thrills from acrobats, heart pounding musical performances and the ability to transport audiences into another realm. It’s a world of imagination, which some may say may contains scenes inappropriate for children. Cirque du Soleil is changing that with their most recent performance. TORUK – The First Flight is the story behind the story of “Avatar,” the well known science fiction motion picture. With TORUK there is not only a brand new story to tell, but performances using music and movement that will leave the youngest and oldest in the audience wide-eyed in wonder.
The Houston Family Examiner recently had the opportunity to talk to Laura Silverman, the official spokesperson of Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk about the show and find out exactly what is more family friendly.
Toruk is a mythical tale of the world of Pandora thousands of years before the story of Avatar and long before any humans set foot on Pandora. A coming of age story it involves three teens, who join together to save their world from catastrophe. Much like teens of today they encounter parents who are fearful of letting them head out on this journey. Relevant to current day relationships between tweens and teens and their parents the dangers encountered and the fears the parents and teens face are much like the challenges of today.
A second real life application for families is the Na’ vi’s belief in a coexistence of all living things. In our heroes story, only two teens set out, yet in unusual circumstances they encounter a friend who will join them in their quest to save the world. But they also learn that each encounter, play a vital role in what happens and how it happens, just like it does in the real world where you may ask yourself, “What if I did this differently?”
And true to modern day storytelling, not all our heroes are boys. Tsyal is the only child of a village chief and lost her mother when she was young. The clan and grandmother raised her to learn the mysteries of healing and health which are needed if the group is to survive their adventure.
The whole family will be drawn into the story, not just through the music and movement but through the use of projection screens of approximately 20,000 square feet which is FIVE times the size of a standard IMAX screen. Inspired by the makeup and costumes of “Avatar” they used it for inspiration, but didn’t duplicate it. After all Toruk- The First Flight appeared thousands of years in the past and the clothing reflects the changes in climate and culture which would have occurred, while staying true to the story many of us know and love. Children love to dress up, and the beauty, intricacy and majesty will not only cause them to be curious and imaginative but parents shouldn’t be surprised if more imagination and creativity should show up on their own as they play at home or dress for holidays, like Halloween.
Animals come to life through the magic of puppetry and children will enjoy seeing the 16 puppets which represent the creatures of Pandora.
“On Pandora, the animals are strange, menacing and beautiful all at once. These six-legged muscular creatures exude a sense of grace and nobleness, which I wanted to convey. I wanted my designs to be a tribute to nature, as is the show,” says Puppet Designer Patrick Martel.
Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK comes to Houston Feb. 11, – 14, 2016. Visit them online to purchase your tickets and get more information on ticket pricing for performances at the Toyota Center. Get the whole family together and groups of 12 or more save 25%.
Follow Toruk on Twitter or Facebook for more information and insider information. In the meantime, enjoy this sneak peek of TORUK- The First Flight as well as the soundtrack of music, an inside look at the storytelling, puppet mastery, music, acrobats and more now available on YouTube.com.