What’s your Totem?

What seems to be now happening regularly once a year is the Cirque du Soleil throwing us Europeans scraps of their creative property. No, not my much wished-for DVDs/BluRays of their newer stuff, but at least some auditory stimuli by ways of the soundtracks for some of the shows. Since I don’t particularly care for their recycled Elvis stuff of same show, but much prefer their original shows, this year’s front runner is Totem. Last year OVO didn’t go down too well with me, but I’m willing to admit that my love for Latin American music always has been limited and, which also speaks for the show, the comedic aspects of an insect life may not carry over too well if you don’t see the visuals. That is to say it probably is still quite enjoyable to watch and the sound will contribute to the pleasure. In a way I feel the same with Totem. If you wanted to put it nicely, you’d call it a melange of various musical styles from American Native tribal rhythms to Indian Hinduist tones to Arabian and Asian themes, if you wanted to see it in a negative way, you could call it an uneducated mish-mash of these styles. Maybe the truth is somewhere inbetween. In any case, it is very show-y and you can feel how the rhythm is all too much dictated by cues in the actual performances, which is understandable, but on some level also sad. It never reaches the quality of similar pieces in Zaia or Kooza, much less the finesse of Deep Forest or other ethno pop music. On the other hand, it may fit the theme of the evolution of man and the world around him that is the topic of the show. I probably won’t find out any time soon, as no doubt we’ll have to wait an eternity for this to appear on any visual medium and just like I didn’t have the money for the European premiere in Amsterdam last October, I very likely won’t have the money to see it next year in London. It’s going to be crazy and extra expensive there anyway with all that pre-olympic buzz. Too bad I don’t know one of those Russian billionaires living there to spring me a VIP stay…

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