TOTEM is written and directed by Robert Lepage. The show traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.
Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.
The word “totem” contains the idea of the order of species. We carry in our bodies the potential of all species, all the way to our desire to fly—like the thunderbird at the top of the totem pole.
Tonight, my family and I attended TOTEM, located at Atlantic Station. When the lights dimmed I was amazed at the brilliant stage, lights, and then, costumes. Kym Barrett’s initial approach to the TOTEM costume designs was rooted in documentary-based reality. This process entailed research into real animals, plants and birds as well as traditional cultural and tribal designs to source her fanciful, inventive concoctions.
There were so many scenes that I loved in the show. Our boys mouths were open during most of the scenes. One of my favorite scenes was watching the unicyclists. Each unicyclist has her own look, but together they form an integrated unit. The base costumes are printed in earth tones, with small details sewn onto them—including bolts and screws as well as feathers and insects. The line of the costumes and the stylized tutus create flirty ballerina silhouettes.
TOTEM will be showing at Atlantic Station until December 30, 2012. Bring your family, friends, and co-workers to see this amazing show!