Review of TOTEM – Cirque Du Soleil Under the Blue and Yellow Big Top at Marina Bay Sands

1 November, 2015

Big Top performances at Marina Bay Sands is always an event to look forward to – we checked out Cavalia under the White Big Top in Singapore and it was a great experience seeing the acrobatic performances on horseback. Likewise, this Cirque du Soleil performance – TOTEM here under the Blue and Yellow Big Top at Marina Bay Sands (showing in Singapore from Wed, 28 Oct to Sun, 6 Dec 2015) is also a big hit! For this review, I will not just be writing about the performance but also the “logistics” for those watching this TOTEM show here in Singapore.

Compared to Cavalia, the tentage area and seating arrangement is much smaller for TOTEM – Cirque du Soleil – this makes for a more cozy ambiance and also more wallet-friendly for the budget-conscious (you will find more why later in this article).

blue yellow big top totem cirque du soleil singapore

The story of TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly – basically evolution of human.  That is the broad overview of the story but you shouldn’t expect a very strong story plotline as with most musicals at Marina Bay Sands – after all, this is not a musical, TOTEM is all about the acrobatic experience with some attempt at pulling together a common theme of human evolution.

Look out for the lavish costume designs – the devil is in the details and you can really see the effort to make the acrobats look like amphibians and astronauts.  The other impressive part about TOTEM is the cutting edge digital effects and to complement it – elaborate stage sets (a boat can be created out of a walkway from what looks like a mound) – yes, that’s how elaborate the stage sets are.

totem review singapore cirque du soleil

Programme-wise, the TOTEM show starts at 8pm but it actually starts at around 8.10pm.  For the 10 minutes in between, you will see some TOTEM performers walking around the crowd and interacting with them (or more likely “disturbing” them). I noticed that the “no photography” rule is not very strictly enforced – what is very strictly enforced is “no flash photography” as it can be disruptive and very dangerous for the performers. So you can take all the photos you want with the TOTEM performers as they walk around during that 10 minutes before the show starts.

Cirque du Soleil – TOTEM is still fundamentally an acrobatics performance so you will see the usual acts of juggling, fixed trapeze but how it is presented is so much more different from typical circus acrobatic acts.  My favroite act: the fixed trapeze act – Lovebirds – kept everyone glued to their seats not just because of the dangerous acts e.g. dropping from a height only to be caught just in time” but also how the 2 trapeze performers did it in a way that demonstrated how a couple went through a lover’s spat and the girl rejecting the guy’s advances and eventually fell in love – all these without words and performed via various dangerous-looking acrobatic moves!

If you expect a full 2 hours of acrobatic performances, do note that this is not the case as there are quite a number of filler comedic acts in between some performances – I quite enjoy them and they are a break from the intensive acrobatic acts of TOTEM.

The whole TOTEM performance will last for 2 hour 25 minutes (there is a 25 minutes intermission/interval in between).

I will not do any more spoilers – you watch it for yourself and spot the sub-plot stories (within the bigger storyline of human evolution) told within each acrobatic act.  Here in the picture below, you see 2 performers using multiple hoopla hoops to wow audiences in a very unexpected manner 🙂

cirque du soleil totem review marina bay sands

Like I said, the TOTEM performance tent was not very big – you can get quite a good view of the stage with a B Reserve seats – see TOTEM ticket pricing below.

TOTEM Ticket Pricing – get your TOTEM Cirque du Soleil Singapore tickets here
(Excludes Booking Fee)
VIP Rouge (First row): S$328
VIP Rouge : S$308
A Reserve: S$188
B Reserve: S$168
C Reserve: S$138
D Reserve: S$98

TOTEM Singapore Seating Arrangement Cirque du Soleil tickets

Sat – 7 Nov ,28 Nov & 5 Dec (8pm shows)
VIP Rouge (First row): S$328
VIP Rouge : S$308
A Reserve: S$188
B Reserve: S$168
C Reserve: S$138
D Reserve: S$98
Behind The Scenes VIP: S$495

As you can see from the picture below, the last row is actually not that far behind.  Do note that for C Reserve and D Reserve seats – views could be blocked by the pillars (the black vertical pillar you see in the picture below)

seating arrangement totem cirque du soleil singapore tickets

This is the view from a B Reserve seat – section 104 (the one to the sides – not the ones behind A Reserve seats).  Quite a good seat – I personally prefer this seat as compared to the more expensive A Reserve or the centre B Reserve as you get to see both the stage and the back part of the stage – the slight mound around the grass – this is also where the digital effects are projected onto.

totem cirque du soleil stage set dancer actor singapore

Before entering the performance tent for the TOTEM acts, you can browse through quite a lot of TOTEM and Cirque du Soleil collectibles as well as buy some popcorns and drinks (too note that the price is not cheap – S$7 for a small tub of popcorn but such prices are to be expected with such performances).  If you want, you can get one of these TOTEM masks to play the role of an amphibian at home 🙂

totem cirque du soleil singapore review

There is a smoking area for smokers just outside the performance tent and that is also where all the washrooms are.  There are 3 “container” washrooms – 2 for female and 1 for male.  I only visited the toilet before the performance – during intermission, it might not be possible to use the toilet as there are very long queues for the toilet – it might be worthwhile to check with the ushers if you can step out of the tents to go to Marina Bay Sands Shoppes and re-enter.  I did not try this but if you are in urgent need and there are very long queues, that is the best alternative for you (after all MBS is just a quick 5 minutes walk away).

container toilet totem cirque soleil big top

This is the condition of the washroom in the container when I used it just before the performance – toilet paper is provided – you also get proper taps and sinks – also urinals in the male toilet.  I am not sure what the condition of the toilet will be like during intermission with the heavy usage 🙂

totem big top toilet clean external


Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comments (14)

  • BeverlyReply

    8 November, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing so much on what I will be expecting from this performance. I had a much better idea on seats selection and also selected my seats from section 104 (Category B). I really enjoyed reading your article.

  • MrMacabReply

    13 November, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for the detailed share, helps me to make an informed decision on my seatings selections. Im pretty sure after reading your article, i will make the right decision and my kids will be thrilled. Thanks!

  • MelissaReply

    18 November, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Hi there, can i find out which row were u actually at? And seated nearer towards A reserve on the left or towards the right? Sorry but trying to figure out which seats are better. Thanks for the write up. Appreciate it

  • AnikinsReply

    22 November, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Hi, Thank you for the article. Can i just ask, would you recommend to buy front/first few row seats? As from your pictures i see that the stage is elevated, so best view would be few rows behind?

    Thanks for the article.

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      22 November, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      I think the first few rows are too near considering the elevation of the stage – take a few rows behind

  • AlysonReply

    26 November, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Very informative post. Any thoughts on seating around C section? Was wondering if getting a corner seat would be good (like maybe seat 1 or the likes)

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      26 November, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      I dont recommend seats at C section – your view will be blocked by pillars. Do Facebook “like” this post if you find it useful

  • OwenReply

    29 November, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Hi do you think I will see anything at all if I buy D reserve seats (the cheapest ones)?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      1 December, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      your view will be blocked by pillars

      • OwenReply

        3 December, 2015 at 3:24 am

        But it is not all the seats right? I mean for the distance and angle wise, will it be hard to watch the performance?

        • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

          3 December, 2015 at 9:47 pm

          it will be hard to watch the performance – if you really have to get a D reserve seat – make sure you get the front row of D reserve ad avoid the corner seats nearer to Door 8 and 7 as you wont have a very good view

  • AgagoogaReply

    10 December, 2015 at 12:13 am

    I like how you reviewed the toilets

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