500 youngsters are first in line to watch Cirque du Soleil's circus show next to MBS

A Cirque du Soleil performer (left) greets some guests. Children and youth from charities such as Beyond Social Services, Brahm Centre, Care and M1 Students Support Fund were treated to the show Totem.
A Cirque du Soleil performer (left) greets some guests. Children and youth from charities such as Beyond Social Services, Brahm Centre, Care and M1 Students Support Fund were treated to the show Totem.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

The circus is back in town and 500 children and youth at risk were the first in Singapore to catch the theatrical extravaganza under Cirque du Soleil's trademark blue-and-yellow big top in Bayfront Avenue, next to Marina Bay Sands.

Sponsored by telco M1, the children, from charities such as Beyond Social Services, Brahm Centre, the Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association (Care) and M1 Students Support Fund, were treated to the Quebec-based troupe's production of Totem.

The circus show features acrobatic feats mixed with comedy, dance and cutting-edge digital effects.

Mr Shafik Said, a youth worker from Care, recalled being extremely disappointed when he was not able to catch the show in 2002 when he was a student.

"I bullied some of my classmates and was inattentive in class, so the teacher said I couldn't go and that really hurt and made me reflect on why I was being left out," said the 26-year-old.

That was one of the turning points in his life and, subsequently, he made it his calling to become a youth worker to mentor troubled youngsters.

"Today, 13 years on, I am finally watching the show with the teenagers I work with and sharing with them my story," said Mr Shafik.

"It is a dream come true."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2015, with the headline '500 youngsters are first in line to watch circus show'. Print Edition | Subscribe