Before Avatar, there was Cirque du Soleil 

Cirque du Soleil’s narrative production of an Avatar prequel comes to Indy

click to enlarge PHOTO: ERRISSON LAWRENCE COSTUMES: KYM BARRETT  © 2015 CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
  • Photo: Errisson Lawrence Costumes: Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s Fabrice Lemire has no small number of artistic notches on his belt. He was awarded the first prize for male dance from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, and he has held every role from principal dancer to ballet master and now artistic director for Cirque’s newest production TORUK – The First Flight.

The show, Cirque’s 37th production, follows the back story of Avatar taking place on Pandora 3,000 years before the movie storyline picks up. And for Lemire, storytelling is what this show is about. This will also be the first time that Cirque has had any form of narration on stage.

click to enlarge PHOTO: ERRISSON LAWRENCE COSTUMES: KYM BARRETT  © 2015 CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
  • Photo: Errisson Lawrence Costumes: Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

NUVO: What stands out about this show compared to Cirque’s other work?

Fabrice Lemire: For the first time we are doing a narrative work. So you are going to have performers following and doing acrobatics which will be showing the narration. This is very much one of the big curves in the evolution of the show … I think it’s just a way to expand horizons of creativity in some aspects … It’s very imprint for the longevity of a company … Our show has acrobatic elements but it’s important to say what else is there … Are there other avenues that we can explore to create the “wow” factor? And this show is doing that. For me it’s finding the right balance between exceptions. People will come in with expectations of seeing high acrobatics in the meantime you also want to educate them to look at a different way of doing performance. As well as reaching out to a new demographic and bringing a new audience to the show … We have such a fantastic visual and that is one of the biggest wow factors. And everything else after that aligns itself with that. The palate, the support of the show, is really on the visual and the visual impact on the audience.


click to enlarge PHOTO: ERRISSON LAWRENCE COSTUMES: KYM BARRETT  © 2015 CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
  • Photo: Errisson Lawrence Costumes: Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

NUVO: How is this storyline different from the film?

Lemire: It’s a different direction of artistic exploration. I am asking the audience to come in with an open mind to see a different exploration of this work. … It’s very much a quest for three young heroes who … are going on a journey to find the Toruk. Throughout the show progression you understand what is the reason for journey and the quest … While the show is evolving you realize their journey. It’s very much a reflection on humanity in regards to the aspects of age … and in humanity when we accept differences and come together we can change the world. It is very much a reflection of what’s going on today in society … Look at the beauty of different lives, come together and hold hands, and we can lift mountains.

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About The Author

Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor

Bio:
Emily is the arts editor at NUVO, where she covers everything from visual art to comedy. In fact she is probably at a theater production right now. Before joining the ranks here, she worked for Indianapolis Monthly and Gannett. You can find her thoughts about Indy scattered throughout the NUVO arts section and... more

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