A Different Kind of Circus

Last week, one of Cirque du Soleil’s newest shows – TORUK – The First Flight, which was inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar, came to Baltimore! And, we had the chance to not only see the show, but to go backstage earlier in the day and see how the show comes together.


Personally, this was my sixth Cirque du Soleil show; I just can’t seem to get enough of them, but my first time backstage! However, this one was very different from the other shows I have seen. For the first time in Cirque history, this show has an English narrator and is more about telling a story than simply showing the crowd amazing acrobatics. Don’t get me wrong, the acrobatics we have come to love are still there throughout the show, but this time, the main purpose of the show is to follow three main characters on a journey in an attempt to unite five clans in order to save their population.

TORUK – The First Flight is set as a prequel to James Cameron’s Avatar and showcases some new characters who Cameron himself approved and noted that the audience might meet again in future Avatar installments.

The show is one of the largest sets in Cirque history and uses more technology than your average Cirque show, as well. In the afternoon, we got to see the artists preparing for the evening event and the stage set in its raw form.


By the time that we arrived for the evening performance, the set had been completely transformed with the use of video mapping and projection. Through this technology, the team was able to change the setting of the story throughout the world of Pandora without ever changing the physical stage set. The lighting and projection were spectacular and really made the audience feel as if they were part of the show. To incorporate the audience even more, the show has an app, and all audience members are encouraged to download it and participate with their phones at various points throughout the show.

Overall, the whole experience was fun and new, and definitely something that I would recommend for a family outing. I cannot wait until the next Cirque du Soleil production rolls into Baltimore!

Disclaimer: Guest post by Brittany Vanderpool. We received two complimentary tickets to attend the show as well as the behind the scenes tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.



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