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Cirque du Soleil lands in Barcelona with Avatar-inspired show

'Toruk - The First Flight' by the Canadian theater company will be in the Catalan capital until January 27

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18 January 2019 07:10 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

'Toruk - The First Flight' by Cirque du Soleil landed in Barcelona on Friday with the theater and circus company due to perform the show in the Sant Jordi arena until January 27.

Inspired by the James Cameron film 'Avatar,' the show recreates the invented world of Pandora through visual effects, acrobats, puppets and state-of-the-art set design.

Even the audience can take part in the show through a mobile app that, depending on the seat they are in, produces one visual effect or another.

Barcelona is the 68th city in the world to host 'Toruk', and it is the Canadian theater company's 16th visit to the Catalan capital.

"Total" supervision by James Cameron

The show's spokeswoman, Janie Mallet, says that what makes 'Toruk' different is that it faithfully recreates the world of the film with the "total" supervision of its creator.

Mallet says the talks with Cameron began five years before the show debuted three years ago, with the director providing all the information he had brought together to make his film.

  • "[James Cameron] helped us to make the creatures, but also to be more creative and come up with new ones that did not exist in the Avatar film"

     Janie Mallet · Cirque du Soleil spokesperson

"That helped us to make the creatures, but also to be more creative and come up with new ones that did not exist in the Avatar film," says Mallet.

Created by directors Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, the show is an ode to the Na'vi's symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the connection between all living beings.

Show features 115 costumes

On Friday, the company showed the press some elements of the production, such as the workshops for the make-up and wardrobe, with a total of 115 costumes used in the show.

Mexican acrobat, Marco Piña, says the show's value is that the acrobats are characters, in which playing a role is important. "All the movements have an intention," he says.

Both he and his colleague, French Canadian François Grabel, had to do intensive classes to learn to move like the Na'vi and learn their language. "'Toruk' is very different than other shows I have done," says Grabel.

The events of 'Toruk' take place thousands of years before those shown in 'Avatar' and are explained by a narrator, in Spanish with English subtitles. The show will move on to Madrid and Pamplona after its nine performances in Barcelona.

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  • Na'vi character from “Toruk - The First Flight,” by Cirque du Soleil (photo by Cirque du Soleil)

  • Na'vi character from “Toruk - The First Flight,” by Cirque du Soleil (photo by Cirque du Soleil)