It’s been almost 10 years since James Cameron’s cinematic masterpiece Avatar hit cinemas, and if you can’t wait until the much-hyped sequels, turn your attention to Cirque du Soleil’s captivating take on Pandora.
The renowned theatre company joined forces with Cameron to produce a prequel in TORUK – The First Flight; and the results are epic, with the live immersive multimedia spectacle currently in Australia after touring the world the past two years.
With an entire arena floor utilised for the show, the total projection space is bigger than five IMAX screens, which sets the stage for Pandora and a group of talented acrobats playing Na’vis – one of which is Melbourne-born talent Peter Kismartoni.
‘The projections alone really bring [Pandora] to life,’ Kismartoni says from Brisbane, where the show recently made its Australian debut. ‘It really looks like there’s a river flowing on the ground, to point where audience members are like, “What did you do with all that water?” It really is amazing to see that; kids especially, they love it.’
Written and directed by multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, TORUK – The First Flight is set thousands of years before Jake Sully or any other humans encounter the Na’vis or Pandora we know from the 2009 film, and unfolds as a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy their world.
Three young Na’vis on the brink of adulthood, Ralu, Entu and Tsyal, set out to save their planet.
‘It follows them meeting different tribes and getting over obstacles that challenge them along the way,’ Kismartoni explains.
‘After watching the show, people will go away with a sense of enlightenment; it’s very inspiring. I think this show sends a really good message to the time we’re living in right now.’ ‘
[TORUK] is about coming together and about love and friendship, and overcoming challenges together.’ It’s a piece that he’s personally connected with more as the diverse cast and crew travel the world.
‘When we came in to start this show, we had to learn about all these philosophies and how to act them…we’ve been doing this show for a little over two years now and all of that’s just grown in us, so we’ve been able to evolve and perform it more clearer and feel it more deeply.’
With such a strong storyline, cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft, Kismartoni says it’s one of Cirque du Soleil’s most “visually powerful” pieces yet, which is a big call from someone who has been with the company for ten years.
‘I joined almost ten years ago and I was in Las Vegas for most of it, doing another show, but I always wanted to go home and perform in my own country and it’s finally happened after ten years.’
- Sydney Qudos Bank Arena: October 19-29
- Melbourne Rod Laver Arena: November 2-12
- Adelaide Entertainment Centre: November 16-19
- Perth Arena: November 24-30
Buy tickets here.