Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bub & Me: Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM Circus Show @ Marina Bay, Singapore

Last night Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM, a fascinating acrobatic journey into the evolution of mankind, opened on Bayfront Avenue, next to Marina Bay Sands. Since she first saw the ads a few months ago {and again when she caught sight of the tents when we were in the area to watch Ebizo Ichikawa XI’s Japan Theatre kabuki show}, Lil Pumpkin has been asking us to bring her to "see the circus".

Well, a Cirque du Soleil show isn't your average circus but her wish was granted last night when I brought her to see TOTEM. Just the two of us (☆^O^☆) It was the first time for both of us to watch Cirque du Soleil. The last time they came was 10 years ago and I wasn't in Singapore then, plus obviously Lil Pumpkin wasn't born yet heh.

TOTEM features a cast of 46 acrobats, actors, musicians and singers from 17 countries performing an impressive collection of jaw-dropping acrobatic acts, in an uplifting array of athleticism, comedy, soul-touching theatrics and surprising visual effects.

The concept behind the show is pretty fascinating. On an island evoking the shape of a giant turtle, TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. Through a visual and acrobatic language, TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species that share our planet, his dreams and his infinite potential.

Since we've watched Cavalia under a big tent before, I kind of knew what to expect but Cirque's iconic blue & yellow Big Top tent still impressed me though. Did you know that 60 people have to strenuously push up more than 100 supporting poles to raise the canvas roof of the massive big top??!

It stands at stands at 19m high and is 51m in diameter. The 4 masts each stand at 25m tall.

The Big Top tent sits more than 2,600 people and we were very happy with our front row seats! Lots of leg space and we could see absolutely every detail of the characters' gorgeous costumes and make-up.

One of the characters, The Tracker, mingled with the crowd before the show and gave Lil Pumpkin a red clown nose :P

Oh!! That reminds me.. DHL is their official partner and if you go to Chevron House on 29 and 30 October, you'll find a giant DHL Jumbo Box. Inside there are 25,000 red clown noses and you can get one for free. Post a selfie of yourself with the nose on Instagram /Facebook to stand a chance to win a pair of TOTEM VIP Rouge tickets!! More details on DHL Delivers TOTEM website.

Lil Pumpkin was absolutely mesmerised watching all the colourful costumes, elaborate props and death-defying acrobatics... I don't think I've ever seen her so engrossed in watching a show before ;)

Every now and then, I'd also see her wiggle and dance a bit to the beautiful, exotic songs.. it's all played live by the way!

The idea of TOTEM is that we are watching the evolutionary progress of Man from floating amphibians to creatures with aspirations to flight.

However, that can be hard to catch for a kid, actually even for me as an adult, what with all the glitz and fast-moving acts that don't seem to connect {unless you read into what each act and character is supposed to represent}.

It can be a bit frustrating that the show sequence doesn't make much logical sense but this is where you come to realise the beauty in a creative show like this - it does not need to make sense. You need more imagination that sense to be honest.

And I guess that's why children like Lil Pumpkin enjoy watching TOTEM so much too - it appeals to their creativity and imagination.

Especially in Singapore, I often hear parents that lament about the lack of creativity in our school syllabus and how hard it is to foster our kids's imagination with our busy schedules & focus on productivity {"don't waste time playing!!"} and scholastic excellence. Well bringing them to a show like this is a very good chance to nurture their creativity and fire their imagination actually!

Even our DP Tharman said recently that we need to give children the space and freedom for their minds to wander in their growing up years. TOTEM is the sort of experience that encourages them to see things in new ways, expand on their artistic talent and work through ideas that others may have missed.

Who would have consciously thought that 5 unicyclists juggling metal bowls over orangey-brown ground would represent harvest and fall, or a guy in American-Indian inspired costume playing with hoops would be dancing about the endless cycle of life??

TOTEM certainly falls into one of the "diverse experiences" that DP Tharman was talking about to breed that instinct of wanting to think in original ways. 

Kids also get to think about science and legend {fact or fiction?}, and explore aboriginal stories of creation. We don't always need to tie learning outcomes to every parenting activity we do with the kids, but if there are learning benefits, it really is such a bonus.

Have a sneak peek of TOTEM in the trailer video above and if you are curious to watch the whole intriguing show, catch it before it ends in early Dec 2015.

  • The Big Top tent opens 1 hour before show time. Arrive at least 30 minutes before to buy snacks and find your seats. 
  • Comfortable padded kids booster seats with a backing {the best we've seen so far at any show!} are available. Ask to borrow from your usher. 
  • Did I mention there's FREE popcorn & champagne?? Mövenpick ice cream is also given out during the interval.
  • The tent is air-conditioned {but seats are pretty tight} so wear comfortable, smart casual clothing.
  • Not recommended to wear heels as you'll have to walk on wooden planks. 
  • Do not bother to bring strollers/ prams inside as there's no place to store.
  • Smoking is not permitted inside the tent.
  • No photography, video recording and audio recording is allowed.
  • Use the restrooms at MBS to avoid the crowd. Normal toilet services {not port-o-lets}, including running water & handicapped persons access are available at sides of the tent but queues can be long!
  • Light snacks and beverages are available for purchase. Eat full meals before watching. 
  • Cirque du Soleil & TOTEM merchandise sold on site. Look out for the gift shop located in the concession area on the right. We bought the souvenir program for S$20.
  • Try to avoid side seats as the performance is mostly designed for center audience {even though the stage is round} and you may miss parts of the performance.

I loved our simple mother-daughter date night out. I mean, of course it's nice to have the boy with us for family time, but spending time alone with my little mini-me in a fun, exhilarating environment that kept the both of us in such good spirits was really enjoyable. It was a special treat to do this on a school / work night too!

We got to dress up, chomp on her favourite popcorn snack, chat with a few friends we met at the show, talk about our favourite characters and acts, take lots of selfie photos haha....

I need to bring her out more on these mother-daughter dates. Really treasure the time where I can truly appreciate Lil Pumpkin for who she is - a fun-loving, spirited girl with a natural instinct for wonder and beauty - without worrying about time or stresses of our daily lives ♥(◡‿◡✿)

Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM
Big Top at Bayfront Avenue, next to Marina Bay Sands.
Event period: 28 Oct 15 - 6 Dec 15
Ticket Price {excl. booking fee}:  S$98, $138, $168, $188, $308-388 {VIP Rouge Packages}
Show Times: 8pm {Tue - Fri}, 4.30pm & 8pm {Sat} and 1.30pm & 5pm {Sun}
Duration: 2.5 hrs {incl. 30 minutes interval}
*Kids under 2 years old may be admitted free of charge & must be seated on the lap of a parent or guardian. Kids aged 2 years and above require a ticket for admission. Wheelchair section available in the front row.

Check out the rest of our Bub & Me activities or list of kid-friendly places in Singapore too.

* Disclosure: Unless otherwise stated, images belong to Cirque du Soleil. All opinions are my own.


Small Kucing said...

so exciting. wish were there too

K. said...

I don't know if my son can endure a 2 1/2 hour show. He's 5. All the sights and colours might overwhelm him. How old is your daughter?

An Apel a Day said...

How my family would LOVE to go to one of their shows! It would be so much fun! We have one on DVD. Mica's watched it over and over again.

Theresa Mahoney said...

I have been dying to go to a Cirque show! This one looks spectacular! And you and Lil Pumpkin look so gorgeous all dressed up for the show!

Unknown said...

Looks like you had a great night and thank you for the tips. I haven't taken my kids to a show like this because we would need prams, but when they're older, I can't wait to mesmerize them.

Ai Sakura said...

Small Kuching: I hope one of Cirque's shows go to your city soon!

K: We started bringing her to shows since she was 2-3. She is 6 now. Probably other than age, personality matters too so if the kid doesn't like loud noises, weird characters or dark spaces, this might not be the show for him/her.

Alissa: After seeing TOTEM I'd love to check out the rest of Cirque's shows too :)

Theresa: thank you! do catch it when you have the chance!

Mummy Kless said...

I enjoyed this show very much! Though I was a little shy when the really muscular men came on stage. =P

Phoebe said...

Nice tips! ! How I wish I can go too with my kids. Never been to a circus show before

Hello, Mrs Tan said...

Wow very nice!! I can't wait to bring my own little fellas to catch a show like this when they are older.

P.S. I love your matching dress with Pumpkin!

Unknown said...

I'm down for the free popcorn and champagne. What a memorable date to have with your mini-me :)

Cynthia said...

This reminds me of the circus during my time.... Wooden planks and such. And I think I shall go pester the man to bring us after reading such good reviews.

May said...

What a wonderful experience! I am so tempted to go watch after seeing all my instagram feed filled with raving reviews by each one of you! Went to sistic to check out the prices and Holy Cow! They are so pricey! *sobs* I'm not sure if we should spend so much per person to watch Totem and gosh you've got front row seats! That's totally out of this world!

Vivien said...

Nice photos you took!
I wish my boy was old enough for me to bring him for it! :)

Vivien @ Beautiful Chaos

alwayssayaprayer said...

I love watching such show!!! It looks exciting and yay to mommy and daughter date!

Masshole Mommy said...

How exciting. I love Cirque shows!!

Collin Chow said...

I heard it was such an amazing show! Saw so many people's pictures. Wished I could attend also!!! =)

Pooja Kawatra said...

It looks like a wonderful show and quite exciting but wasn't sure whether my little one can take it or nt. By the way love mummy and daughter dress :)

Grace said...

You guys do so many fun things! I love it! My boys would love to see Cirque de Soleil! Who am I kidding? I'd LOVE to see it! The Great Euro Circus came into town last month and the boys had a ball!

Di from Max The Unicorn said...

The show looks absolutely amazing! Glad you had a great night with your girl. How fun! :)

Stacy said...

Cirque du Soleil shows can be rather... slow. Elegant and all that, just that I do wish they can pick up the pace a bit!