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Cirque du Soleil announces TORUK – The First Flight, inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar

Photo: Errisson Lawrence, Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

INSPIRED by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie Avatar, Cirque du Soleil’s uniquely different touring show, TORUK – The First Flight, will make its UK debut in 2019 at the Manchester Arena (June 20 to June 23) and London’s O2 Arena (June 26 to June 30).

With creative input from James Cameron and experts from the movie’s production, TORUK – The First Flight is unlike any other Cirque du Soleil experience.

With the brilliance of the Cirque du Soleil performers whose athleticism and acrobatics bring to life the Na’vi, the show is a visual effects spectacular where the world of Pandora is depicted through impressive multimedia projections, massive set-pieces and the largest collection of puppetry in Cirque du Soleil history creating a narrative driven official prequel to Avatar.

James Cameron said: “Avatar is really meant to be a celebration of human motion and human emotion and Cirque is able to capture that absolutely perfectly, because it’s all about human performance and physicality. It makes you feel alive to watch these performers.”

TORUK – The First Flight transports audiences to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.

Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination. From the Floating Mountains and the Omatikaya Hometree, to the Anurai’s animal sanctuary and the lush jungles where the Tawkami live, video projections immerse the audience in the breathtaking world of Pandora.

This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film Avatar, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

The story

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omatikaya 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. 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.

Creative team

TORUK – The First Flight comprises 13 creators under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté (Guide) and Jean-François Bouchard (Creative Guide) for Cirque du Soleil, and James Cameron, Jon Landau, Kathy Franklin and Richie Baneham for Lightstorm Entertainment:

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

Tickets: From Friday, November 16 at 9am – available online at

Demand Based Pricing

Demand Based Pricing is a system whereby prices for different shows and levels are derived from the demand of each performance. Consumers receive the most benefit buying early and getting the lowest prices as well as the best seat availability. Conversely when booking late, more popular performances in greater demand may reflect a higher priced ticket. Prices are however limited to a fixed ceiling. Overall, Demand Based Pricing provides the consumer with greater choice of the price they wish to pay.

Select your seats at your price! Tickets for TORUK – The First Flight start at £40 in Manchester and £45 in London.

TORUK – The First Flight App

In an effort to bring audience members involvement to a whole new level, Cirque du Soleil launched a first-of-its-kind app for TORUK – The First Flight. Working with long-time technology partner SAP, the app enhances the overall show experience and enables audience members to be a part of the action before, during and after the performance! Click here to download the app.

Image: Photo credit: Errisson Lawrence, costumes: Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil.