Cirque du Soleil: TORUK – The First Flight

Cirque du Soleil wasn’t always the world’s largest theatrical producer. As of this post they have a repertoire of 33 shows but I remember seeing their 8th show, Dralion, years ago and it was still a spectacle! We recently went to see their 31st show: TORUK – The First Flight, inspired by James Cameron’s film Avatar and it tells the story of the first Na’vi Toruk Makto (and in case you’re keeping count, Sam Worthington’s character Jake Sully in Avatar was Toruk Makto #6).

I remember seeing their booth at New York Comic Con 2015 and they already had my attention. So glad that we were able to finally see the show!

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We had great seats in the seventh row where it felt like we were within arms’ reach of all the acrobatics, effects, and props. The house was packed and many even downloaded the in-show app on their smartphones so that they can feel like a part of the performance. See below how in one scene the crowd was a part of Eywa’s glowing lights.

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I really appreciated that this show wasn’t solely for visuals but also for telling a captivating story. However, that still didn’t seem to appeal to the dad sitting next to me who slept through the whole thing (his son was like, “Dad, look! Oh…”), minus the 20 minute intermission to chow down his basket of chicken fingers. But I swear it was entertaining! Take a look for yourself:

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The use of practical effects on the various stages was amazing… from the obvious wire stunts to the subtle puppeteers handling the Viperwolves. And who can forget the beast itself, TORUK?

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The way they got it to “fly” was so incredible and lifelike. And the costumes were really detailed too! We actually arrived a little early, so we were able to get a glimpse of the “behind the scenes” by their trailers (aka blue-faced performers in t-shirts & jeans drinking coffee and checking Snapchat). But that just goes to show how much you ought to respect what they have to deal with, performing in blue jumpsuits with Na’vi hairpieces and tails!

And last but not least, no event would be complete without a gift shop. There were some great products for sale, but we picked up two glow-in-the-dark t-shirts and called it a day (to our surprise, the shirts came with a TORUK flashlight/keychain!). In the end, I would definitely recommend closer seats for this particular show. Our lower level section was just beyond some curtains and a long trek down a staircase. But we didn’t mind since our proximity to the stage made for some great backdrops to our photos at the end of the evening!

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