Cirque du Soleil today announced their new show Totem will be coming to the Royal Albert Hall in January 2011. The show, which premiered in Montreal earlier this year, will tour to Quebec City and Amsterdam before arriving in London. The piece will be Cirque's second collaboration with world renowned Canadian director Robert Lepage.

According to press material, Totem "traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilisations."

Inspired by many founding myths, Totem illustrates, through Cirque's trademark visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend the show explores the ties that bind man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

This production will be Cirque's residency will be its 15th season at the Royal Albert Hall, following the revival of their Varekai show last year to mark the company's 25th anniversary. The company also toured UK arenas last year with the colourful Saltimbanco.

Cirque du Soleil was established in Quebec in 1984 by a troupe of street performers. Since then, it has grown to employ over 5,000 people (a quarter of them performers) presenting 20 shows to nearly 100 million people in more than 200 cities on five continents, including residencies in Las Vegas and Walt Disney World, Florida.