Cirque Du Soleil ready to bring the world of Avatar to life

Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK arrives in Perth on November 24th to present a mesmerising show based on the world created in the James Cameron film Avatar.

OUTinPerth chatted to one of the stars of the show, acrobat Dustin Walston, about the production which comprises large scale projection, performance, music and acrobatic feats to tell a moving story.

“In the show I play one of the Na’vi character from the movie, the guys with giant blue tails. This show pre-dates the movie by about a thousand years, and there’s a lot of different tribes.

“I’m a part of the Omaticaya clan, which is the ones you seen in the movie, but we also introduce two new tribes in the show.” Dustin said.

“This show is a unique experience for the audience because it brings the beauty of James Cameron Avatar to the stage, but it also has more of a narration that other shows.” Dustin said.

“Some Cirque Du Soleil have a number of acts that bring together a whole theme, but we’ve got a big story to tell.”    

The process of becoming a giant blue alien is achieved through some clever costuming and make up.

“We use body suits and our costume designer Kym Barrett, who is Australian, had worked on films like The Matrix. The body suits have these computer printed patterns on the them, but we have to paint our faces, which takes about an hour to put in all the details and make it very lifelike” Dustin shared.

Each performer in the show applies their own make up, Dustin says having a blue face night after night doesn’t leave him with a blue tinged face during the day, but not every performer in the shop is so lucky.

“There’s one girl from England who has very very pale skin, and she almost looks like she’s a slight blue when she’s out of costume, but I’m lucky I have a little more olive skin.”

Dustin said he didn’t need to do any workouts while touring in the show, declaring the two hour performance is enough of a keep fit routine to keep anyone in shape.

“Our gym is the stage!” Dustin proclaimed.

Being part of the show has given Dustin a chance to see a lot of the world, he lists off the countries that they show has taken his to so far.

“We’ve toured North America, Canada, Mexico,The Philippines,  Taiwan, New Zealand and we’re now in Australia.”

Born in Longview, Texas, Dustin began his acrobatic training in power tumbling at age 15.  He continued competing through college and became a national champion trampolinist. He says joining Cirque Du Soleil was a long held ambition.

“I’d always know about Cirque Du Soleil, I’d seen them personally.” Dustin shared. “If you really want to do it, you compile a show-reel and send it in, and you get invited to audition.”

“I flew on a chance and prayer to Las Vegas, Nevada and made it through the audition process. At that point you’re not in a show, you just make it into the talent base, so I moved to Las Vegas and continued to train until I got the call.”

Dustin’s first Cirque Du Soleil experience was appearing in a show called BELIEVE that featured magician Criss Angel, next he joined the cast of LE RÊVE in Las Vegas.

Tickets to the show are available from Ticketek, there’s only a limited run of the show, so don’t miss out.

Graeme Watson

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