By: Meghan Malas
The entertainment giant, Cirque du Soleil, recently paid a visit to Dayton’s Nutter Center as a part of their worldwide tour Sunday, March 26. The show featured was one acting as a prequel to the 2009 award winning film, Avatar. The show, titled Toruk: The First Flight, follows a loose plot line consisting of five unnamed characters who represent members of the indigenous Na’vi trying to save their people by fighting a beast known as the Toruk. The show also features several other members of the Na’vi that only act as part of the choreography.
Though the performers bare an exact resemblance to the beings in Avatar, and there are elements of the movie that are present like the Toruk, the life force tree, and the “rituals” held by the tribes, the performance lacked the antagonist and plot-based depth the movie possessed. Instead there was a strict emphasis on aesthetic appeal, as is common in a Cirque du Soleil show. Aerobatics and dancing run throughout the entirety of the show, and a projection-based set allowed for astounding effects. The visual stimulation alone compensate for the lack of storyline and it is often difficult to know where to look as there is something going on in every corner of the stage.
Above all, if one appreciates Avatar strictly for its sensory appeal, then the show could be deemed worthy of a watch. But, if one needs to experience a level of emotional interest in a show that is two hours long and over $30 for a trip to a performance to be worth it, than it would not be too far to say that this show falls short of expectation.