Last night, I was invited to Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk (Inspired by James Cameron’s 2009 film, “Avatar”) at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, GA. I took my daughter and her friend.
Disclosure: I received media passes to attend this show
The show was scheduled to start at 7:30pm (which it promptly did) but I arrived early as I usually like to do. Finding parking was a breeze (and free!). I got my tickets and went through security. Security was more heightened with bag checkers, body scanners, and handheld metal detectors. I guess that was to be expected with the recent Orlando nightclub incident. The process, however, was easy and fast, and I appreciated knowing we would be safe.
There were several photo opps on the walls to take pictures.
There were beer, wine, cocktails and more for sale, perfect if you’re on a date night. There were also water, soda, and numerous fast food including burgers and pizza on sale. I bought a soda cup that came with a free refill for $5.95. They also had a popcorn bucket that came with a free refill for a few dollars more. We used the restroom and got our seats with time to spare.
The kids decided to stay on their phones while they waited.
There were signs to download a Toruk app on you android or iphone, so I tried to do that. I highly recommend you download it before you go, so you can use your home’s high speed wi-fi. It’s a fun app that won’t distract you from the show.
As for the show, it’s based on James Cameron “Avatar”, but it’s a prequel so you didn’t need to see the movie. I haven’t seen the movie in years and my daughter & her friend hadn’t seen it. But they enjoyed the show. There were a lot of oohs and ahhs and finger pointing.
One thing unique about this show is that there was narration in English, which is surprising because in Cirque du Soleil shows, you usually just have to follow along with body language, gestures, and facial expressions. I usually Wikipedia the shows beforehand to understand the plot but you don’t need to do so for this show, but you still can.
There were several other differences from this show and previous Cirque shows I’ve seen.
Cirque du Soleil is a Circus troupe known for its jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics, lavish costumes, and slapstick comedy. You won’t find much of that here. There were some very talented acrobatic acts, but fewer than there usually is. The focus was more on the quest. The costumes were beautiful and vibrant and as usual made me regret all my food choices, but not as elaborate – which is to be expected since it’s an Avatar themed show. There definitely wasn’t comedy here, although I did laugh out loud at one point but I don’t’ think I was supposed to. Towards the end, love was found by two of the characters which took me by surprise, because I hadn’t noticed the development of it. This show did miss some marks as far as being a Cirque show, but it is still a fascinating visual and musical sci-fi cinematic adventure that I would recommend. Just don’t expect a typical Cirque show. Consider it a live live-action movie without the need of 3D glasses or as one friend described – a live action video game.
This show is definitely for the nerds and geeks (that’s a compliment now, right?). It’s filled with elaborate and realistic video projections, light tracking, and a phone app that encourages audience participation. The projections and harnesses create a desert, flood, floating mountains, flora and fauna, volcanic spews and more. The technology is really on a cinematic level. As we were exiting, many of the patrons stopped at the tech booth, where a bank of computers and controls did the magic, to compliment the staff there (which were only a handful of people!)
This isn’t a typical Cirque show, but it’s a pioneering show that I’m sure we will see lots more of it’s kind in the future. Hmm, maybe there will be a Cirque show inspired by Star Wars!
As we were leaving, a highlight of the evening was meeting one of the cast members from the show, Krista Wade.
The show is here til Sunday.
TICKET INFORMATION: TORUK – The First Flight
Infinite Energy Arena (6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Duluth, GA 30097) on June 15-19, 2016.
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk
Tickets range from $34.50 – $125
CLICK HERE for a discount ticket offer (save up to $12 per ticket).
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 – 7:30 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2016 – 7:30 PM
Friday, June 17, 2016 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, June 18, 2016 – 4:00 PM & 8:00 PM
Sunday, June 19, 2016 – 1:30 PM & 5:30 PM