I was there in the beginning.
Not the very beginning, though.
The tearing down of the abandoned warehouse there was before my time.
Now the lot was just hard concrete, desolate and overrun with weeds.
One chancy weekend stroll led me to discover a budding tent there, hoisted by hard-helmeted men in neon green. Over the next few weeks, I witnessed the slow blossoming of the grand chapiteau. Its yellow and blue tendrils swirled to the sky. Carnival music emanated from the tent grounds in late evenings, filling the air with a sense of mystérie. I always peered hard through the surrounding chain-link fence. What could it be?
It was Cirque du Soleil!
TOTEM was in town, and with it came large crowds to this quiet harbor district.
Cheery people flooded the streets after each show. It reminded me of my first Cirque Du Soleil experience, Quidam.
The many years before Quidam, Cirque du Soleil and I revolved like sun and moon, never to be at the same place same time. Our eclipse finally occurred September of last year, when Quidam performed at a nearby arena. I was so thrilled to have my dream of seeing a circus fulfilled that I failed to realize a crucial fact: the “circus of the sun” was not actually a circus. The discovery did not disappoint me. Instead of elephants and clowns, I experienced a new kind of wonder with dazzling acrobatics and aerial contortionists. Zoé, the girl with the red balloon, and Quidam, the faceless man, captured my heart. It was a sweet and lighthearted version of Coraline. I loved it.
This weekend, I got to see TOTEM. Weeks of anticipation came to a head when I took my first step into beckoning canvas. It was marvelous: the buttery aroma of popcorn, the red-nosed ladies and gents, the unbelievably large big top.
A disco-ball-esque Crystal Man ignited the show. Glisening frogs trampolined around a carapace. Unicyclist ladies juggled cups on their heads. It was one breathtakingly exciting feat after another!
The Tracker was my new Quidam. Twirling his top hat, he was a meister of light and shadows.
Overall, TOTEM was less cohesively themed than Quidam. However, it was just as impressive. Its variety of performances kept everyone glued to the scene. Its moving set and mechanical drawbridge was so beautifully engineered. It was definitely the highlight of my weekend.
Bienvenue Cirque du Soleil!
J’ai adoré TOTEM! Tu vas me manquer lorsque vous quittez. Revenez bientôt!