“Toruk” Set to Soar Over Sunrise
By Skip Sheffield
Think of the fantasy film “Avatar: The last Airbender” and then imagine it bigger, bolder, brighter, much more exciting, and best of all, live and in person
That’s what you will find in the Cirque du Soleil show “Toruk- The First Flight,” which opens Thursday, March 3 and continues through Sunday, March 6 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. Based loosely on James Cameron’s “Avator” characters, “Toruk” combines dazzling visual effects, puppetry and bold stagecraft to provide a framework for the amazing human circus acts of Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun in French). Created by Michel Lemieux and Vitor Pilon, “Toruk” is narrated by a “Na’vi storyteller” and is set several thousands of years before the events of the movie “Avatar,” before any humans ever set foot on Pandora. When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the scared Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys nearing adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters in their own hands. With a newfound friend Tsyal they set off on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the huge, fearsome red and orange lizard-like predator that rules the Pandoran sky. A prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride the airborne predator Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a gruesome fate.
Words fall short of the full visceral impact of the Cirque du Soleil experience, which engages all the senses at once. “Toruk” is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has performed before more than 155 million spectators in 300 cities on six continents. The organization has nearly 4,000 employees including 1,300 performing artists from 50 countries. After the BB&T Center run, “Toruk” moves to American Airlines Arena in Miami March 10-13. Tickets are $43, $69 and $130 with higher priced Producer’s Seats available on a limited basis. Go to www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk for tickets.