A First for Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil's "Toruk" offers surprises along with expected stunning acrobats

Cirque du Soleil's film-based "Toruk" offers surprises

Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
Cirque du Soleil’s 'Toruk' fills Toyota Center with plenty of surprises. Photo by Errisson Lawrence. Costumes by Kym Barrett. © 2015 Cirque du Soleil.
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
Evoking awe-inspiring landscapes are 40 video projectors. Photo by Errisson Lawrence. Costumes by Kym Barrett. © 2015 Cirque du Soleil.
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
Six years in the making, 'Toruk' premieres ahead of the release of  'Avatar 2.' Photo by Errisson Lawrence. Costumes by Kym Barrett. © 2015 Cirque du Soleil.
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
The visually stunning production shines the spotlight on James Cameron’s 'Avatar.'  Photo by Errisson Lawrence. Costumes by Kym Barrett. © 2015 Cirque du Soleil.
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
The touring spectacle transports the audience to the world of Pandora. Photo by Errisson Lawrence. Costumes by Kym Barrett. © 2015 Cirque du Soleil.
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
The narrated story brings to life the Na'vi species and its quest to find the mysterious creature Toruk. Photo by Errisson Lawrence. Costumes by Kym Barrett. © 2015 Cirque du Soleil.
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016
Houston, Cirque du Soleil's Toruk, January 2016

Cutting-edge visuals, stagecraft, puppetry and acrobatics.

Get ready to be wowed by a different kind of Cirque du Soleil with its latest show, "Toruk - The First Flight," at Houston’s Toyota Center February 11 through 14.

"Toruk" shines the spotlight on James Cameron’s “Avatar,” pre-dating the storyline of the 2009 mega-blockbuster by 3,000 years.

The touring production, which launched in Montreal in December, boasts several firsts for the Canadian performing arts company, including ranking as the first show inspired by a film.

While you can count on the thrilling leaps, tumbles, flips and somersaults you’ve come to expect from a Cirque du Soleil production, skilled acrobats are secondary to the plot in "Toruk" — Cirque’s most story-driven show to date.

The tale, told by a narrator — yet another first for Cirque, centers around three teenagers on a quest to find a mysterious creature, the Toruk, in order to save the world of Pandora.

Although you don’t need to have seen the movie to enjoy Cirque’s prequel, those in-the-know will recognize the Toruk, ridden by Worthington (portrayed by actor Jake Sully) in the James Cameron movie, as the common denominator tying stage and film together.

Visually stunning, "Toruk - The First Flight" marks the inaugural time there is no floor seating for a Cirque du Soleil show. The move leaves more space for the massive multimedia production, including 40 video projectors used to create awe-inspiring landscapes and video effects synced with the performers' movements.

“It’s exciting to branch out from what we’ve previously done and see what’s possible using special effects to create a different type of Cirque du Soleil show, ” Laura Silverman, spokesperson for "Toruk - The First Flight," told CultureMap.

Six years in the making, "Toruk" premieres ahead of “Avatar 2,” set to be released December 25, 2017.

To purchase tickets and for more information, head to Cirque du Soleil’s website