The first visible sign of the arrival of Cirque du Soleil and its live production TOTEM in Atlanta is the raising of the blue-and-yellow Big Top and the set-up of the Cirque du Soleil village.
This event took place Saturday at Atlantic Station, where a team of more than 60 men and women worked for several hours to pound pegs, hoist more than 100 support poles, unfurl the canvas, and in a grand flourish, raise the roof on the waterfront.
Written and directed by Robert Lepage, TOTEM premieres on Oct. 26, 2012 for a limited engagement and marks the 10th Cirque du Soleil Big Top touring show visit to Atlanta since 1991.
TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.
Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.
Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.
About the Big Top and the Cirque du Soleil Village:
• The Big Top seats more than 2,600 people.
• The entire site set-up takes 8 days. This includes installation of entrance, hospitality and rehearsal tents, box office, administrative offices and kitchen.
• The Big Top stands 66 feet high and is 167 feet in diameter.
• The 4 masts stand at 80 feet tall each.
• 550 pegs are required to hold the Big Top firmly to the 48,500 square feet of asphalt.
• The Big Top, the VIP Rouge and Artistic tents are all climate controlled with air conditioning in warm seasons or heating for colder seasons.
• TOTEM travels via 64 trailers, carrying more than 1,200 tons of equipment for the tour.
Cirque du Soleil added today one week-end of performances to its Atlanta engagement, Dec. 21 to 23, inclusively. Advance tickets for those dates are available now online exclusively to Cirque Club members through Oct. 17. Cirque Club membership is free and benefits includes access to advance tickets, special offers and exclusive behind the scenes information. To join, go to www.cirqueclub.com. The public on sale of those performances is scheduled for Oct. 19.
Tickets for all performances of TOTEM can be purchased at any time online via www.cirquedusoleil.com/totem.
Starting on Thursday, Oct. 25, tickets may also be purchased in person at Cirque du Soleil box office, located inside the Big Top’s entrance tent. Regular box office hours are from 2 hours prior to show time to 30 minutes after the beginning of the show from Tuesday through Sunday.
Performance schedule: Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 8 p.m.; Thursdays through Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. No performances on Mondays. As it may vary, please visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/totem for the detailed show schedule.