Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Cirque Du Soleil's 'Avatar' Show Reveal A New Creature And New Characters

We won't get another Avatar movie until 2017 — and that's assuming James Cameron actually meets his deadline this time instead of blowing past it yet again — but in the meantime there are other ways to get to Pandora. Like Toruk – The First Flight, an Avatar-themed Cirque du Soleil show that begins touring this fall.

The production was announced some time ago, but today we have a better look thanks to some colorful behind-the-scenes photos. Take a peek at the Avatar Cirque du Soleil show after the jump.

As the title suggests, Toruk – The First Flight focuses on the first time a Na'vi rides the great leonopteryx (also known as "Toruk" in the Na'vi language). If all those made-up words have you scratching your head – well, remember how in the movie, Jake Sully impresses all the Na'vi by flying around on this giant airborne creature? Toruk – The First Flight chronicles the first time any Na'vi accomplished that same feat. Here's the synopsis:

TORUK – The First Flight envisions a world beyond imagination set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film. The word Toruk, in the Na'vi language, refers to the great leonopteryx, the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Central in Na'vi lore and culture, this fascinating creature is crucial to the Na'vi clans' sense of destiny and interconnectedness – and is about to be ridden for the very first time by a Na'vi.

Check out some Avatar Cirque du Soleil behind-the-scenes pictures below, and then head over to the official Toruk – The First Flight website for even more.

In order, the photos show:

  • Singer Cumie Dunio as the shaman / chief of a Na'vi clan
  • Raymond O'Neill as the storyteller of the Anurai clan
  • Another clan member decked out in a colorful, organic-looking costume
  • A prolemuris (forest-dwelling creature) who helps the shaman tell the history of Pandora
  • A Toruk (Great Leonopteryx) under construction
  • Austrapedes, a species first introduced in the Cirque du Soleil show. According to the photo caption, they "may look friendly but personalities can change in the blink of an eye." Get a closer look at the puppet here.
  • Below is the Avatar Cirque du Soleil show teaser trailer, in case you missed it the first time around.

    And if you're a big enough Avatar fan that you've made it this far, consider entering to win a special VIP fan experience that includes a trip to Montreal for the Toruk – The First Flight premiere, a Cirque du Soleil headquarters tour, and lunch with James Cameron. Watch Cameron make his pitch below, and then click over to for full details.

    The Avatar Cirque du Soleil show begins its tour of North America this month. Find locations, dates, and ticketing info at the Toruk  - The First Flight website.