Cirque du Soleil’s new show TORUK – The First Flight, based on James Cameron’s Avatar series, is integrating the audience into the show, taking place in Montreal’s Bell Centre, using a mobile app powered by SAP’s HANA platform.
The world premiere of TORUK – The First Flight takes place in Montreal on December 21, playing until January 3, after which it tours to Toronto, Quebec City and Auburn Hills, Michigan throughout January.
Far from being told to put their mobile devices away during the performance, audience members will be encouraged to use their phones and tablets before, during and after the show, after downloading the TORUK app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play for Android.
SAP and Cirque du Soleil are promising a “first of its kind” experience, marrying app to theatrical experience.
“This immersive digital technology brings Cirque du Soleil fans closer to the action and creates a more powerful experience for spectators of the incredible new show TORUK – The First Flight,” said SAP chief marketing officer Maggie Chan Jones. “We’re proud to bring technology from SAP HANA front and center, giving audience members an opportunity to interact with the characters and special effects on their mobile devices throughout the production.”
When audience members download the app, they can look at ticket and show information before immersing themselves in Pandora, the blue world created by James Cameron and his team of CGI specialists for the film Avatar, which the Cirque du Soleil show acrobatically riffs on.
Audience members can use the app to interact with the show during the performance, too, communicating with the show’s visual effects control system, while the app returns personalized content to their device based on how they’re interacting with the app and where they’re seated in the theatre, driven by the spatial processing capabilities of SAP’s HANA platform.
After leaving the show, spectators can continue to interact with the show through the app, taking in interactive content in the forms of images and videos designed to continue their TORUK experience.
“When we set out to create a show that provided an unparalleled audience experience, we knew SAP would be the right partner to make that happen,” said Cirque du Soleil senior director for Corporate Alliances Louis Malafarina. “We believe the TORUK – The First Flight mobile app will help enhance the overall spectator experience, bringing fans deeper into the world of Pandora in ways they never thought possible. We look forward to continuing to work with SAP to develop new, innovative experiences for audiences of our future shows.”
Cirque du Soleil has been using SAP solutions to power its operations since 2001, mainly for finance, human resources, costume manufacturing, merchandising, and procurement systems, not to mention selling 12 million tickets in 26 countries through 19 currencies each year.
With close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performers from nearly 50 countries, Cirque du Soleil’s business operations needs are considerable.
This new collaboration represents a novel way of integrating SAP technology into the theatrical experience that transcends business operations.
TORUK is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since beginning in 1984. Their shows have entertained 160 million spectators in more than 400 cities on six continents.