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Queens Chronicle

Cirque du Soleil makes flying look natural

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Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:30 am

The acrobatics and the how-did-they-do-that contortions of Cirque du Soleil will be coming to the Citi Field parking lot March 27 to April 19.

Under the big top performers dressed in glitter and fringe or painted intricately from head to toe will illustrate the evolution of the human race from amphibian to the almost superhero traits of flight. The show “Totem” is about dreams, according to Cirque du Soleil, and about growth.

That’s something the show aims to be each year, Totem Artistic Director Tim Smith said.

This year, in its first-ever stop in Queens, the show is experimenting with technology. As the performers leap and crawl and seem to fly the interactive floor will morph.

For example, an acrobat will touch the stage that looks like a still pond of water and watch it break into multi-colored ripples.

Even in typical Cirque performances there’s a way to grow, Smith said. His contribution to “Totem” is a new hand-balancing act. A woman and man perform the section, in which she teaches him and pushes him to grow while employing tricks new to the Cirque du Soleil repertoire.

“It’s a 6-foot-tall pole with disks balanced on top,” Smith said. “She arrives with the apparatus as a challenge, as we as people are always challenged every day.”

The act began as a a backup routine. In Cirque du Soleil the acrobatics and skills are specialized enough that there are no understudies — instead the show creates full replacement acts such as Smith’s disk-balancing routine.

Although his masterpiece holds a special affinity for him, another one of his favorite acts is the opener.

“It starts really cool — pretty spectacular mystery that gets the audience excited,” Smith said. “There are things coming down, people are flying and I really love the music.”

‘Cirque du Soleil: Totem’

When: Wednesdays, March 27 and April 3, 10 and 17 at 8 p.m. Thursdays, March 28 and April 4, 11 and 18 at 7 p.m. with additional 2 p.m. performance on April 11 and 18. Friday, April 5 at 3:30 p.m. Fridays, April 12 and 19 at 4 p.m. Where: Citi Field, Lot C,126-01 Roosevelt Ave.

Tickets: about $45 to $130

cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/totem

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