BALTIMORE (WJZ)–It’s Big Top Day and crews from Cirque du Soleil’s “TOTEM” are hard at work.

 Jessica Kartalija reports from Westport Waterfront, where the stage is almost set.

Raising the Grand Chapiteau can be a little intense. A team of tent engineers literally raises the roof.

Eric Boyce leads tent operations for “TOTEM.”

“We laced all the vinyl together and installed all the metal that needed to go on it,” he said.

When finished, the 66-foot-tall tent will seat more than 2,600 people.

“It’s all manpower; it’s all muscles,” Boyce said.

Not surprisingly, this is what they call “Big Top Day.”

And according to the operation production manager, this tent will magically turn into the Grand Chapiteau.

“During the show, the stage is changing in different shapes of rocks, a big volcano, etcetera, etcetera and it’s realistically done because the projection is very sharp,” said Raoul Vannistelrove, operation production manager.

When the stage is set, the Grand Chapiteau will include two smaller tents, a kitchen and box office.

The raising of the Grand Chapiteau is the first of an eight-day long process.

Several locals from Baltimore City were hired to help raise the big top.


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