Cirque du Soleil’s ECHO Takes Toronto by Storm in Its Grand Debut

ECHO: Toronto’s Unforgettable Cirque du Soleil Spectacle Marries Tradition with Modern Marvels

For decades, Cirque Du Soleil has been sparking imagination, capturing hearts, and has had people gasping in disbelief, cheering loudly, and shedding the occasional tear. For myself, the tent shows were always some of the most exciting because as a university student, I worked in them when they came to town. I was always so incredibly excited to see what kind of magic Cirque has brewed up, with some of the shows being absolute winners, and with some of the shows ranking lower on my list. Echo has done something incredible: capturing the true spirit of old Cirque Du Soleil, while marrying it with modern technology and incredible staging. It is a must-see. 

Echo, which is playing in Toronto until August 4th, is a breathtaking fusion of acrobatics, music, and technology that will leave you spellbound from the moment the cube lights up (but more on that in a bit). The show is set against a backdrop of gorgeous landscapes and vibrant colors, “Cirque du Soleil ECHO follows the story of an inquisitive young woman named FUTURE as she wanders into a fantasy world that explores our sacred bond with animals and nature.” And let me tell you, this show truly will speak to every admirer of nature and animals out there. I adore how the story is told through the eyes of a young girl, one who sees the world with curiosity and fascination, from the smallest ant, to the largest waves of rushing water. She explores her world with her best friend, her dog Ewai (played perfectly by Philippe Dupuis). Echo truly captures the concept of “Imagination” and runs absolutely wild with it, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.

The acts that the Cirque production team has chosen are always the best on the planet, and this show does not lack talent! Every act from the clowns (who were wonderfully hilarious) to a duo who swung around the stage gracefully by their hair. Yes. By their hair. They call the duo “The Fireflies”, opening their act with robotic fireflies flying through the air just above our heads. Some other acts that were highlights for me were the bungee straps, an act called the Icarian Games where one person flips around another person by only their feet, the Fixed Trapeze, which has a team of people acting as a trapeze, an incredible contortion act that had the audience gasp and squeal, Ewai’s juggling act, and the flying poles. Honestly and truthfully, there isn’t a weak act in the show. Every performer demonstrates incredible human strength, bravery, and determination. Every act in this show is awe-inspiring. 


You can’t have an incredible Cirque show without music! The musicians behind the show have to provide a consistent stream of music for our conscious and subconscious minds to elevate what we are seeing in front of us, and this incredible team has done just that. Wearing striking all-black costumes (which no other cast member wears) they blend into the background, emerging every so often to give us a glimpse of exactly who is creating such audible beauty. 

There are two things I want to talk about specifically, the first being the cube itself. The cube, which doubles as a backdrop, and an extension of the stage, is what this entire show is focused on. Not only does it rotate 360 degrees, not only does it display stunning projections, but it also comes apart and gets put together so many times. The cube is a character in itself. It is a massive character that is almost the same height as a two-story apartment building, but a character nonetheless. 

Speaking of giant characters, I wanted to talk about the finale in the first half. This is a major spoiler, so look away if you don’t want that! Right before the end of Act One, a giant rainbow human puppet emerges from the cube and plays with Future. She jumps from hand to hand, and sits on his shoulder, and we as the audience feel like she loves him. He looks like he’s made up of stuff, bits, and bobs of old things to create an almost translucent puppet. Could he represent the spirit of innocence, or could he represent the man-made world interacting with the natural world? Whatever he represents, it’s an incredible moment for the show, and left me asking myself “How are they going to top act one?” Which obviously, they do. 

There is only one disappointment I had watching the show, and that was with the slack-line act. In all sorts of promo, we see a double slack-line, with the performers suspended over a fire inside the cube. There must have been an illness, technical challenges, or both, because we only got one performer and no fire. Maybe disappointment is too strong of a word, but when a lot of promotional media/material includes this act in its full grandeur, you hope to see it. The same applies to the flying pole act, which was supposed to be in the form of chrysalids, but were just regular flying poles. These deductions didn’t take away from the amazement of the show, or my perception of it, but were something I was hoping to see. Maybe I will have to buy another ticket and see it again!  

Echo is a celebration of the human spirit and the power of imagination. Through powerful music, stunning visuals, and thought-provoking narrative, we as an audience get to explore themes of identity, connection, and meaning. From the detailed costumes to the simple but brilliant set design, every detail is infused with a sense of magic and possibility, inviting viewers to suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves fully in the world of Echo

Echo is more than a show, it’s an experience; a journey into the deepest depths of imagination. It has the honor of being my 10th Cirque Du Soleil show, having a place in my top five. Whether you’re a seasoned Cirque Du Soleil fan or experiencing the magic for the first time, you cannot miss this show.

The magic of Echo leaves Toronto on August 4, so do yourself a favor and buy a pair of tickets, and prepare to be engulfed in magic, and wonder. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Cirque du Soleil’s ECHO runs in Toronto through to August 4th.  Tickets for ECHO are on sale now, starting at $77.  For visit


[Review by Shan Fernando]