Thirty-three years after its start in Montreal, it is now a new normal to see the colorfully acrobatic, atmospheric Cirque du Soleil and its multitude of themed productions. They occur so often, you can throw a rock and hit one. The plan, then, is to make them unique, with potential new partnerships like in the case of “Toruk: The First Flight,” which is based on the the James Cameron film “Avatar.”
Along with "Toruk" being the first time that a Cirque show is inspired by a movie, it is also the first time that the troupe has followed a narrative storyline with speaking parts for its main characters. Paris-born Cirque Artistic Director Fabrice Lemire worked directly with Cameron and his Lightstorm production company to bring the blue Na’vi world to life on the stage.
Who comes up with the names for Cirque shows and must they always top the flourishing grandeur of the last big show?
We do have a fine marketing department who, when a subject comes to the table, must find a great name. There was a lot of development here. We are not doing stage work that comes directly from "Avatar" so we can’t use that. We are however “inspired by,” so that we can say. The Toruk is that large flying character that we see in the film. The main character bonded with one of those creatures, as did five other Na’vis. We are concentrating on the first one that a Na’vi could mount.