See TORUK’s Lydia Harper Transform into a Na’vi

To promote the new Cirque du Soleil show “TORUK – The First Flight,” which is based on James Cameron’s “Avatar,” visitors to The Franklin Institute on Feb. 7 were treated to a surprise.

Lydia Harper, a Cirque acrobat, applied her stage makeup in front of a crowd of children, museum guests and press. The demonstration was to show the transformation from human to Na’vi, who are the characters in “Avatar” that inhabit Pandora.

“TORUK,” coming to Wells Fargo in March, is set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film. Every detail in the production was approved by Cameron.

Simply put, Harper’s transformation into the other-worldly being took a whole lot of blue and about 45 minutes.

Every performer in “TORUK” has to apply their own stage makeup; no professional makeup artist travels with the Cirque crew. The cast is given about two hours to put on the blue face paint before each show – and there’s some pride in being able to do it in under an hour.

The performers start with a cream base for their stage makeup, then use a powder to keep the base in place through each acrobatic trick.

After the powder is on, details and highlights are added so that even the nosebleed seats can tell they’re looking at a face.

Once makeup is in place, it’s time to put on the blue suit.

Almost all of the performers wear a basic blue suit, then interchangeable blue pieces are added to make them look different.

The performers also wear a hood that goes over the body suit and connects under their chin. Hair pieces are sewn into the hood so performers can easily change to play different parts and their hair won’t fly off when they’re flipping on stage.

Learning to do your own stage makeup might be challenging, but for many of the performers, it was having to work with a tail that required the most training.

If you remember from the movie, however, all Na’vi have tails, so there was no getting around it.

{ SOURCE: Philly Voice | }