March 8, 2021

Gran Canaria surrenders to 'Totem' – The Province

The lights go out to inaugurate the silence in the Great White Tent, where a sphere of mirrors hanging from the vault uncoils and is, in reality, the Crystal Man, wearing a 4,500-moon mesh, descending in capers to write in the air the beginning of the cycle of life. Under his feet emerge the luminous amphibians acrobats in costumes of red, green and blue gradations, which symbolize the first pulse of existence in that evolutionary journey that draws Totem.

Thus, the great spectacle of the Cirque del Sol, which raised the curtain last night in its emblematic tent installed on the esplanade in front of the Palacio de ExpoMeloneras, Maspalomas, where he will remain until September 22, with nine performances a week, in a frantic succession of deadly jumps, contortions and aerial skating, unicycle tension and acrobatic raptures.

The coming-out of Totem, one of the most acclaimed shows of the prestigious Canadian company under the direction of multidisciplinary artist Robert Lepage, last night sold out the capacity of this "small itinerant universe" on the island, which also had the presence of numerous representatives of the circles political, social and artistic aspects of Gran Canaria. The guests began to cross the entrance to the universe of the circus, crowned with the letters emerald green of Totem, around 19.30, where a treat was held that lasted until minutes before the start of the show.

Among others, the appointment was attended by Pablo Rodríguez, acting vice president of the Government of the Canary Islands; Pedro Ortega, acting Minister of Economy; José Manuel Baltar, holder of Health in functions; Emilio Moya, president of the Audiencia de Las Palmas; Pedro Francisco Justo Brito, advisor to the acting Treasury of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria; Juan José Cardona, president of the Port Authority of Las Palmas; Augusto Hidalgo, mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; Oscar Hernández, mayor of Agüimes; Rafael Robaina, rector of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; Conrado Dominguez, manager of the Canary Islands Health Service; Israel Reyes, director of the Clapso Producciones company; the designer Arcadio Domínguez; the presenter Roberto Herrera; o Txema Mañaricúa, president of the Hotel and Catering Federation tourism.


The first spectacle of the Cirque du Soleil under the Gran Carpa Blanca in Gran Canaria embarked the island public in an interactive and enveloping journey that, in view of its three experiences in previous years adapted to sports halls, established a close and complicit dialogue with the public to along its 12 numbers, with small winks to the imaginary of the islands.

"Salpica pa 'allá!", Says the bizarre Valentino, the unique Italian master of ceremonies incarnated by the actor Jon Monastero, who competes with two strong contortionists for the love of a front-row spectator. This humorous counterpoint opened the second circus number after an electrifying start marked by amphibians on the structure of a turtle shell, symbol of the origin of the species for many ancient civilizations. Then, the second episode, clad in Bollywood sounds, puts to the test the agile acrobats skills of a trio in aerial rings, where the woman wins the game.

This transit between one number and another anticipates the successful contrasts of a show that oscillates between the energetic exhibition of supernatural contortions and the sense of absurd humor incarnated in the figure of a clown. After all, the worldwide success of Circo del Sol, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, is precisely that it draws from the magical essence of the circus to elevate it to the firmament of acrobatic possibilities with the best artists in the world.

Further, Totem, in particular, it incorporates a universal component in the backbone of its argument, which is a song to all civilizations and ancestral rituals, as well as a celebration of diversity, multiculturalism and life, which connects with each soul of the tent. These osiers, together with its spectacular mobile scenery, as well as its great display of visual effects, its very careful costumes and the success of live music, converge in this perpetual jump without a net that always falls on its feet in the enthusiasm of all its profiles. of the public.

In this balance of risk and joy came into play, in the third issue, a brand new alignment of five oriental unicyclists in one of the most applauded by the public, where their protagonists, dressed with elements of Amerindian tribes, throw metal bowls that They are piled on their heads, without using their hands. After this balancing act, the adorable Ukrainian clown Mikhail Usov prints the note closest to the staging of the traditional circus, with a number of gestural humor where he sinks in a canoe to enter a spiral of ingenuity between pots, sounds and balls of ping pong.

Then, once again, the women shake the stage: a female acrobats duo again arouses the great enthusiasm of the audience with a fifth number of acrobatics with carpets in which they use each of their extremes without hardly shuddering.

And it puts the point to this first block of the show the first reference to the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, where a row of simian acrobats takes the stage led by a sad human executive clinging to his mobile phone. In addition, the silent sequence of monkeys and bones evokes the mythical scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the masterpiece of Stanley Kubrick.


The return to the tent after an interval of 25 minutes – the show lasts 2 hours and ten minutes – opens the second block of Totem, with another half dozen numbers that happens at the same speed of vertigo as the first.

The character of Valentino returns to the stage to face a juggler bullfighter with a masterful mastery of the diabolo and then another of the jewels of the show: a fixed trapeze duo embodies a delicate game of seduction, in which they intertwine their bodies in the air and form an elegant vertical dance of promotions, jumps, pirouettes and hugs.

This binomial will be followed later by a second high-voltage dance starring the pair of skaters that make up on and off stage Denise García-Sorta and Massimo Medini. Together they evoke a nuptial ceremony between two indigenous tribes through an extraordinary flight of pirouettes on wheels at vertigo speed in a tiny drum barely two meters in diameter. In between, a number of scientific juggling represents the discovery of electricity with fluorescent balls that fly inside a giant funnel tracing a circumference, followed by a fascinating Amerindian dance with hoops to the sound of drums, which symbolizes the infinite circle of life.

And as a cherry, a close to the height -literal- of the effervescence of Totem: a dozen trapeze cosmonauts, dressed in gleaming suits inspired by ancient civilizations that have disappeared from Latin America, invade the stage and, armed with Russian bars, measure themselves with gravity jumping from one axis to another. This hypnotic flight of somersaults and pirouettes in bars held on the shoulders of his companions put the finishing touch to this recreation of the cycle of life that, according to the message that contains the proposal of Lepage, culminates in the human longing to fly.

Finally, in the echo of the fascination aroused by this aerial fable, the trapeze artists, acrobats, skaters, acrobats, amphibians, clowns, musicians and singers joined the cosmonauts to bid farewell to the Gran Canaria public with a final choreography in unison. In total, 48 artists – among them, eight musicians – shape the dream of Totem, since the curtain went up nine years ago, in the city of Montreal.


Thus culminated, amid applause and smiles, the first performance of the Circus of the Sun under the Great White Tent in the south of Gran Canaria, one of the most anticipated events of the summer on the island, with an extraordinary reception by the public.

The tickets for the next functions of Totem, whose presence on the island is the result of an agreement signed between the Lopesan group, the Cabildo of Gran Canaria and the Town Hall of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, can be purchased on the ticket sale portal of LA PROVINCIA, at the web address:


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