Totem, Cirque du Soleil's latest traveling show, dazzles in the typical way, mostly language-free and multicultural, down to its musical roots. Totem loosely interprets various legends about the origin of species, and doesn't glom onto anything specific. Really, it's the simple evolution of the circus that Cirque du Soleil sells best. This is not the ethically questionable, animal-focused kids show you grew up with. Instead, the focus is on gymnastic feats all performed by (super-)humans. Oh sure, you might wish for more of a real story -- and you could certainly do without the unnamed folksy, stereotypical Italian buffoon who serves as the show's emcee, interacting with the crowd. But just keep your focus chiefly on the acrobatic feats of the performers, plus Kym Barrett's vibrant sense of costuming, and Pedro Pires's awe-inspiring work with digital projection -- his rotating screen platform morphs with and responds to performers' movement and action at various points. Oh, what a circus. To Oct. 7. The Plateau at National Harbor, 201 Harborview Ave. National Harbor, Md. Tickets are $43.50 to $153.50. Call 800-450-1480 or visit cirquedusoleil.com/totem.
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