This August, the world's largest (and arguably most ambitious) theatrical producer, Cirque du Soleil, is coming to town to interpret the breathtaking world of James Cameron's mega-hit Avatar.
The world-famous Canadian entertainment company will apply its unique signature style to the extraordinary 2009 blockbuster that was highly praised for its groundbreaking visual effects.
Like the movie, the show is set on the faraway moon Pandora, but the theatre performance is a prequel, taking place some 3,000 years before the events of the film.
James Cameron created a coherent, highly structured world with its own set of codes and natural laws, including a living, breathing ecosystem with an exotic fauna. When the creators of Toruk: The First Flight decided to evoke the creatures of Pandora on stage through the art of puppetry, they could easily have turned to animatronics – animal figures animated by means of electromechanical devices.
Instead, they chose to create bona fide puppets where the strings, rod or controls are intentionally left visible and the puppeteers are in full view. Other elements in the show include a fusion of cutting-edge visuals and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score.
Toruk: The First Flight is Cirque du Soleil's first show to be based on a movie, and for fans of the widely popular film, it will most likely be a mark-hitter, not to mention an impressively loud and colourful experience.
Impressive acrobatics, stunning visuals, special effects and lighting all come together to create an intense theatrical experience, and for the first time in Cirque du Soleil's history, the show also features an English-speaking narrator who delivers a recap of the action every few minutes.
Toruk: The First Flight will be bringing to the stage the breathtaking world of Avatar like you have never seen it before. True to Cirque form, it's also one to entertain the whole family (though moments of loud noises and darkness may frighten some children).
So If your kids (or indeed, you yourself) are in love with Avatar's imaginary universe, be sure to bring them to Beijing's Cadillac Arena between August 1 and 5.
Tickets are on sale now. Click on the event listing at the bottom of this post to purchase yours.