Review: Cirque du Soleil - TOTEM


My first time seeing a Cirque du Soleil performance, and I definitely wasn't disappointed.

TOTEM has rolled into town, which is a show based on the evolution of mankind or colloquially known as 'the frog one', which is currently playing in Sydney at the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park until January 2015 before touring the rest of tAustralia.

If you're not familiar with Cirque du Soleil think of it as a humans only circus... but at the pinnacle of this type of entertainment. Like a circus, TOTEM doesn't really have a story, it's more like skits intertwined with acts with a common theme which is clearly inspired by nature, with water having a consistent presence throughout the show.

The Acts

Let's get into the acts, the night I attended had 10 out of 11 acts. So it's a pretty jam packed show, it runs for approximately 2.5 hours, which includes a 30 minute intermission.

Most of acts/unique talents I saw I had never seen before, and the elements I have seen before they definitely took it to another level.

My personal favourite act had to be the Unicycles and Bowls consisting of 5 petite ladies on a small yet very high unicycle juggling several metal bowls & tossing them on their heads (and others!). This was filled with 'hold your breath' moments as it's pretty easy to drop it! On this night, only 1 bowl missed the mark.

The next favourite had to be the Russian Bars, consisting of 10 artists wearing epic costumes. They defy gravity (#Wicked) in the form of jumping seamlessly on flexible bars, which involve an incredible amount of strength and coordination. Fortunately, no artists were harmed during the performance.

An honorary mention goes to the Roller Skates, which apparently 'evokes a wedding ceremony' which translates to a lot of PG sexual tension that you're mere presence in the audience makes you feel like you're interrupting 'snuggle' time. I've seen a similar act in Empire Spiegelworld, so while it definitely was impressive just because I've seen it before it wasn't as WOW as I would've hoped.

There were a few acts where I wasn't too entertained, I'm sure it involved just as much skills as the other acts but I didn't find it engaging as my highlights.

I've decided against listing each act, as it is the best feeling to be surprised and impressed. However, if curiosity has gotten the better of you, you can check it out here.


Like I said, this show is amazing. Everything was flawless and the top of it's game when it comes to the acts, the live music, the costumes, and especially the stage which magically transforms both physically and through the use of digital projections.

I was wow'd.

BUT this is from the perspective of someone who has never seen any Cirque du Soleil performance - so I'm not sure how wow'd you'd be if you've seen something of this level.

The price is a bit expensive compared to other shows ($84-$235 for adults) BUT you do get what you pay for which is an impressive show. That is a ton of performers, it's quite astonishing how many there really are (I'm guessing over 40), the amazing stage, special effects as well as those that work behind the scenes.

Here's a tip, if you're looking to save go on a Tuesday to Thursday night, it's a bit cheaper!

The Facts

TOTEM is on now in Sydney until January at the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park.

Parking wise, I recommend trying to get free parking by parking on a side street.

Then will move to:
Melbourne - from January 21, 2015. Flemington Racecourse
Brisbane - from April 10, 2015. Northshore Hamilton
Adelaide - from June 11, 2015. The Plateau, Tampawardli
Perth - from July 31, 2015. Belmont Racecourse

You can check out tickets here.

Untagged images are courtesy of Cirque du Soleil 2014/Matt Beard, with costumes by Kym Barrett.
I attended Cirque du Soleil - TOTEM as a media guest.

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