SANTA MONICA ( — Cirque du Soleil’s trademark blue-and-yellow big top has made its way to the Santa Monica Pier, where the company will begin performances of its acrobatic production TOTEM.

The big top, seating more than 2,600 people, was installed on Thursday by a team of 60 crew members helping to prepare for its January 17 debut.

TOTEM made its world premiere in Montreal in April 2010.

Written and directed by multidisciplinary artist Robert Lepage, it tells the story of the human species’ journey “from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly,” according to a press release.

The cast features 46 acrobats, actors, musicians and singers.

Performances will run through March 16.

Ticket information is available on the Cirque du Soleil website.

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