Cirque du Soleil’s stunning ‘Totem’ in San Jose

Camille Bounds

It has been said that lightning does not strike twice in the same place. In the case of Cirque du Soleil’s dazzling and glorious “Totem,” it may not have struck the same place, but moved its trademark blue and gold Grand Chapiteau from San Francisco to the Taylor Street Bridge in San Jose, along with its stunning production that defies the imagination.

To anyone who has seen performances of Cirque du Soleil, the name conjures up a rainbow of scintillating colors, a cacophony of strange sounds and grand sights that push the imagination into new dimensions never before visited.

Considering that Cirque has produced one after another of stunning productions since its inception in Montreal, Canada in 1984 and millions of people have been fortunate enough to experience the presentations, it is no wonder that each production became a stepping stone to push the envelope just a little farther than the last.

“Totem” is the most up-to-date and creative show Cirque has offered, and will have you enter another dimension, experience the unique and become enchanted.

As with past the creations, Cirque is seamless. Each act is choreographed to blend with what has gone before. This presentation traces the origin of man from the sea to a beach to outer space. Neanderthals become today’s man with suits and cell phones. Egotistical beach boys become Olympic artists on the rings, a boy and girl innocently and breathlessly fall in self-conscious, awkward first love on a trapeze, Indian lore with fascinating rings push the awareness and a sensuous beautiful pair lets our consciousness fly on a small drum and roller skates.

Nothing stands still here. Everything moves, gyrates and flies with efficiency and grace.

The amazing set undulates to the beach, a lake and outer space without physically moving.

The original music – with an amazing gaggle of musicians, instruments and singers – blend the moods to perfection. Lighting, sets, intricate timing and ingenious costumes highlight the production.

There is only one challenge with “Totem”; some might not want to return to reality after the final bow. Go – it’s worth the risk.

Where: The Taylor Street Bridge
When: Through April 15

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