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TorukFirstFlight
Toruk- The First Flight
General Information
Date

October 28 2015 (media-only premiere)[1]
Main run: November 12 2015[2] till at least 2019

Location

Touring across:
North America (2015-17)
Asia & Oceania (2017-18)
Europe (2018-19)[3][4]

Running time

2 hours, including a 20 minute intermission[5]

Toruk- The First Flight is a touring show performed by Cirque du Soleil. It is set thousands of years before the events of the films, detailing the adventures of the first Toruk Makto. The story is narrated by the last of the Anurai Clan.[6] A DVD version of the two-hour event was released in July 2016.[7]

PlotEdit

The story takes place on Pandora, around 3,000 years prior to the events of the film.[8]

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. During their journey, the three protagonists explore the lands of the four other Na'vi clans to get special objects to help with their summoning goals. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.[9][10]

DevelopmentEdit

FirstTorukMakto

Concept art, possibly the first Toruk Makto

Talks on the project go back as far as 2009, when Danielle Lamarre, the president of Cirque du Soliel, was invited to Avatar's cutting room floor. James Cameron collaborated with the group in 2012, presenting the video recording of the live show Worlds Away.[11] Toruk was greenlit in May 2014, some five years after those initial talks.[12]

A series of acrobatics tests were done during February 2015,[13] ahead of the official unveiling that May.

The stage show features a degree of puppetry in order to animate the wild and diverse creatures of Pandora. Notably the Toruk will be created using reverse-string puppetry, with the puppeteer beneath the creature. Other creatures include Viperwolves and Direhorses, as well as two creatures new to the franchise- the Austrapede and Turtapede.[14]

Toruk features multimedia integration, one of which is a mobile app that gives showgoers information about the show, the ability to influence visual effects during the performance, and other interactive content. The SAP HANA platform helps feed information back and forth between the audience and the show's visual effects control system, giving spectators a different experience depending on their app interaction and location in the theater.[15]

PromotionEdit

The musical was unveiled publicly that April. As part of the announcement, a promotional website was launched, featuring a JavaScript-based point and click search game about exploring Pandora. The game revealed more lore and information about the Omaticaya, Tipani, Anurai, Tawkami and Kekunan clans. The website marked the first official appearance of the Kekunan.

That October, a special performance was made ahead of the opening night for the media. Further promotion was made through Facebook and other social media, including a ticket-giveaway quiz in November.[16]

Production CreditsEdit

The project was handled by an ambitious team of artists from various companies. Notably this included James Cameron, Jon Landau, Kathy Franklin and Richard Baneham from Lightstorm Entertainment.

12671757 1372953802730587 5281983609143555241 o

The full crew behind Toruk.

  • Guy Laliberté and Jean-François Bouchard – Creative Guides
  • Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon – Show Writers and Directors, Multimedia Directors
  • Neilson Vignola – Director of Creation
  • Carl Fillion – Set and Props Designer
  • Kym Barrett – Costume and Makeup Designer
  • Tuan Le and Tan Loc – Choreographers
  • Bob & Bill – Composers and Musical Directors
  • Jacques Boucher – Sound Designer
  • Alain Lortie – Lighting Designer
  • Patrick Martel – Puppet Designer
  • Germain Guillemot – Acrobatic Performance Designer
  • Pierre Masse – Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer

CastEdit

12507212 1314514921907809 4337383238623670694 n

The cast of Toruk.

Some characters have multiple actors- this is sometimes done in theater to facilitate speedy costume changes, or in some cases to provide rest breaks for actors performing strenuous acrobatics.

Home Media ReleaseEdit

12540562 1312948325397802 4346133954877762491 n

Toruk at the Centre Videotron, Quebec.

Filming for the DVD release was finished at the January 14-17, 2016 shows at the Centre Videotron. The announcement was made via the show's Facebook page the day photography concluded.[18] The DVD was released in July 2016, with the main show footage coming from its Montreal world premiere.[7]

The DVD also includes the Toruk Takes Flight behind-the-scenes documentary, which first premiered in December 2015 on Bell 5 TV's community channel, TV1.[7][19] The DVD is only sold during the show's tour dates.[20] TV1 also aired the show in 4K and HD, with no plans so far to release said versions on home video.[21]

A soundtrack was released on February 5th; the album became available for preorder on January 22nd.[22]

Touring LocationsEdit

The tour is composed of several legs. From November 2015 to March 2017, the performance toured across North America, visiting the US, Mexico and Canada. A short second leg from July through to early 2018 toured Asia and Oceania, while a European tour is planned for late 2018.

A 2016 performance in Raleigh was cancelled in response to North Carolina's HB2 legislation,[23] which many view as being discriminatory.[24] A number of other events and performances in North Carolina were cancelled by both Cirque and other organizations.

North American tour
Venue Country Opens Closes
Omaha, Nebraska USA October 28 2015 (media-only premiere)
Bossier City, Louisiana USA November 12 2015 November 14 2015
Lafayette, Louisiana USA November 20 2015 November 22 2015
Richmond, Virginia USA November 27 2015 November 29 2015
Allentown, Pennsylvania USA December 4 2015 December 6 2015
Worcester, Massachusetts USA December 11 2015 December 13 2015
Montreal, Quebec[25] Canada December 21 2015 January 3 2016
Toronto, Ontario Canada January 7 2016 January 10 2016
Quebec, Quebec Canada January 14 2015 January 17 2015
Auburn Hills, Michigan USA January 22 2016 January 24 2016
Houston, Texas USA February 11 2016 February 14 2016
North Little Rock, Arkansas USA February 17 2016 February 21 2016
North Charleston, South Carolina USA February 26 2016 February 28 2016
Sunrise, Florida USA March 3 2016 March 6 2016
Miami, Florida USA March 10 2016 March 13 2016
Tampa, Florida USA March 17 2016 March 20 2016
Tulsa, Oklahoma USA March 24 2016 March 27 2016
Kansas City, Missouri USA March 30 2016 April 3 2016
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA April 6 2016 April 10 2016
Louisville, Kentucky USA April 28 2016 May 1 2016
Cincinnati, Ohio USA May 4 2016 May 8 2016
Columbus, Ohio USA May 11 2016 May 15 2016
Hamilton, Ontario Canada May 20 2016 May 22 2016
London, Ontario Canada May 25 2016 May 29 2016
Providence, Rhode Island USA June 1 2016 June 5 2016
Duluth, Georgia[26] USA June 15 2016 June 19 2016
Raleigh, North Carolina[27] USA June 22 2016 June 26 2016
Ottawa, Ontario Canada June 30 2016 July 3 2016
Denver, Colorado USA July 21 2016 July 24 2016
Lincoln, Nebraska USA July 27 2016 July 31 2016
Chicago, Illinois[28] USA August 3 2016 August 7 2016
Indianapolis, Indiana USA August 10 2016 August 14 2016
Birmingham, Alabama USA August 19 2016 August 21 2016
Nashville, Tennessee USA August 24 2016 August 28 2016
Evansville, Indiana USA September 1 2016 September 4 2016
Brooklyn, New York[25] USA September 7 2016 September 11 2016
Newark, New Jersey[25] USA September 14 2016 September 18 2016
Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA September 22 2016 September 25 2016
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA September 28 2016 October 2 2016
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada October 5 2016 October 9 2016
Fresno, California USA October 27 2016 October 30 2016
Ontario, California USA November 2 2016 November 6 2016
Los Angeles, California USA November 11 2016 November 13 2016
Phoenix, Arizona USA November 16 2016 November 20 2016
San Diego, California USA November 23 2016 November 27 2016
Sacramento, California USA November 30 2016 December 4 2016
Portland, Oregon USA December 7 2016 December 11 2016
Vancouver, British Columbia Canada December 14 2016 December 18 2016
Edmonton, Alberta Canada December 22 2016 December 26 2016
Inglewood, California USA January 12 2017 January 15 2017
Witchita, Kansas USA January 26 2017 January 29 2017
New Orleans, Louisiana USA February 1 2017 February 5 2017
Guadalajara Mexico February 10 2017 February 12 2017
Mexico City Mexico February 16 2017 February 19 2017
Monterrey Mexico February 23 2017 February 25 2017
Cleveland, Ohio USA March 3 2017 March 5 2017
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA March 8 2017 March 12 2017
Hartford, Connecticut USA March 15 2017 March 19 2017
Dayton, Ohio USA March 22 2017 March 26 2017
Asia and Oceania tour
Venue Country Opens Closes
Manila Philippines June 23 2017 July 2 2017
Taipei Taiwan July 6 2017 July 18 2017
Christchurch New Zealand September 1 2017 September 10 2017
Auckland New Zealand September 15 2017 September 24 2017
Brisbane[29] Australia October 5 2017 October 15 2017
Sydney[30] Australia October 19 2017 October 29 2017
Melbourne[31] Australia November 2 2017 November 12 2017
Adelaide[32] Australia November 16 2017 November 19 2017
Perth[33] Australia November 24 2017 December 3 2017
Dubai United Arab Emirates January 4 2018 January 16 2018
Sanya China February 1 2018 May 1 2018
Kallang Singapore May 24 2018 June 3 2018
Bangkok Thailand June 14 2018 June 24 2018
European tour
Venue Country Opens Closes
Cologne Germany October 25 2018 October 28 2018
Hamburg Germany October 31 2018 November 4 2018
Berlin Germany November 7 2018 November 11 2018
Turin Italy November 15 2018 November 18 2018
Bologna Italy November 22 2018 November 25 2018
Frankfurt Germany November 28 2018 December 2 2018
Zagreb Croatia December 7 2018 December 9 2018
Pamplona Spain February 6 2019 February 10 2019

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.shreveporttimes.com/picture-gallery/entertainment/2015/10/28/toruk---the-first-flight-media-showing/74776126/
  2. https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk/tour-dates?#modal_video
  3. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-avatar-cirque-du-soleil-china-20150615-story.html
  4. http://www.reviewjournal.com/robin-leach/it-takes-village-move-the-village-cirque-du-soleil-s-touring-toruk-the-first-flight
  5. https://www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight/photos/a.1122793164413320.1073741826.1087940301231940/1307397602619541/?type=3&comment_id=1307452079280760&reply_comment_id=1307475525945082&comment_tracking={%22tn%22%3A%22R%22}
  6. http://www.comingsoon.net/extras/news/434501-cirque-du-soleil-reveals-avatar-inspired-touring-show
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 https://www.richasi.com/Cirque/Telemagk/dvd34.htm
  8. https://www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight/videos/1282373775121924/
  9. http://www.comingsoon.net/extras/news/627281-cirque-du-soleils-avatar-show-toruk-the-first-flight-starts-its-run
  10. https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/on-stage/review-cirque-du-soleil-s-toruk-is-all-heart-1.694423
  11. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1792647/?ref_=nm_flmg_msc_2
  12. https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/press/news/2014/avatar-james-cameron-cirque-du-soleil-creative-partnership-29-mai-2014.aspx
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vXLnljpqxc
  14. https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk/inside-creators-studio, Exclusive content
  15. https://news.sap.com/sap-makes-audience-part-of-cirque-du-soleils-toruk-the-first-flight-with-new-interactive-mobile-experience/
  16. https://www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight/posts/1278043138888321
  17. https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk/behind-scene/photo/
  18. https://www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight/photos/a.1122793164413320.1073741826.1087940301231940/1314514921907809/?type=3&theater
  19. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cirque-du-soleil-media-presents-toruk-takes-flight-a-behind-the-scenes-look-at-the-creation-of-a-multimedia-experience-inspired-by-james-camerons-avatar-and-imagined-by-cirque-du-soleil-only-on-bell-fibe-tv1-2015-12-14
  20. [1]https://www.cirquefascination.com/?p=9487
  21. https://www.cirquefascination.com/?p=9487
  22. https://www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight/photos/a.1122793164413320.1073741826.1087940301231940/1317793048246663/?type=3&theater
  23. https://www.facebook.com/notes/cirque-du-soleil/cirque-du-soleil-will-not-perform-in-north-carolina/10153690474037675
  24. http://gawker.com/logic-and-human-decency-dont-seem-to-matter-much-in-nor-1766888407
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Photo-Flash-First-Look-at-Cirque-du-Soleils-New-AVATAR-Inspired-Show-TORUK-20151222
  26. http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2015/oct/26/cirque-du-soleil8217s-8216avatar8217-inspired/
  27. https://www.facebook.com/notes/cirque-du-soleil/cirque-du-soleil-will-not-perform-in-north-carolina/10153690474037675
  28. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/news/ct-cirque-du-soleil-avatar-toruk-chicago-story.html
  29. https://www.brisbanekids.com.au/cirque-du-soleil-brisbane/
  30. http://www.qudosbankarena.com.au/Event_Calendar/Toruk_The_First_Flight.aspx
  31. http://www.melhotornot.com/toruk/
  32. https://playandgo.com.au/index.php/toruk-first-flight-cirque-du-soleil-adelaide-16-19-nov-2017/
  33. https://www.broadsheet.com.au/perth/city-file/article/cirque-du-soleil-returns-perth-toruk