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|Cirque du Soleil - Fire Within (TV Series)
Lowest new price: $39.99
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Fire Within begins eight months prior to opening night when it remains to be seen how the performers, who have come from around world, will survive the enormous physical and emotional demands placed upon them. Throughout the captivating series, cameras document the human experience'the drama and comedy, the victories and setbacks and, above all, the desire to succeed that burns within these extraordinary individuals.
This addictive, Emmy Award-winning series has all the human turmoil of reality television, but the subjects have actual talent--it's a 13-part documentary about the young acrobats of Cirque du Soleil, watching them struggle with the physical rigors and emotional demands of creating a new show (the acclaimed Varekai). Fire Within focuses on eight performers, among them Gareth, a temperamental Brit whose sculpted physique features multiple tattoos; Stella, a young African American trapeze artist who's a bit of a diva; Oleg, a 35-year-old Russian circus professional trying to shift his talents to dance; Olga, a Cirque veteran as a contortionist, being given a starring role in this new show. Skillfully edited, Fire Within follows the performers along the stressful path from auditions to opening. The show gains surprisingly intimate access into their lives, capturing the strength and vulnerability of people whose bodies are their art--and not everyone rises to the challenges they face. The process of making a show like Varekai isn't always pretty or gentle; if an act isn't working--such as when Gareth and his acrobatic partner Ashley have trouble finding their balance for a piece called the Icarian Games--the act will simply be cut, and the performer fired. Fire Within is a remarkable warts-and-all document of frustration and ingenuity. After each episode, you'll eagerly jump to the next one to learn what happens next. --Bret Fetzer
|Cirque du Soleil - Dralion
Lowest new price: $16.20
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List price: $19.94
Brand: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
They've revolutionized the entertainment arts and reinvented the circus. Now the world-renowned CIRQUE DU SOLEIL takes you on another awe-inspiring journey of the senses with its latest acclamimed production, DRALION . An imaginative fusion of ancient Chinese circus traditions with the CIRQUE'S own unique performance artistry, this collector's cassette immortalizes the timeless magic of a show destined to delight viewers of all ages!
The Chinese consider the lion a symbol of good luck, so it's a half-dragon, half-lion--a dralion--that is the symbol of the East-meets-West fusion of this Cirque du Soleil show, in which 36 Chinese acrobats join the renowned Canadian troupe. Celebrating the four elements as represented in four colors-- blue (air), green (water), red (fire), and ochre (earth)--Dralion combines ancient Chinese circus traditions with Cirque du Soleil's usual stunning elements: the techno-oriented single ring; the multicolored lights and costumes; the music that mixes rock, New Age, and various world influences (though not Chinese); and the madcap clowns that pull a victim out of the audience (he turns out to be a terrific sport).
But of course the main reason to watch a Cirque du Soleil show is the acrobatic stunts, those eye-popping displays of agility, balance, and strength. You'll see an acrobat balancing on one hand, a brawny juggler, a high-flying teeterboard act, a double trapeze, contortionists, a parasol turned and tossed atop a foot, furiously synchronized hoop-diving, unbelievable rope-skipping, and more. While nothing can match the experience of seeing this troupe live, the video does offer some choice close-ups that you would never get from your seat, and you can't ask the live performers to repeat your favorite stunts over and over again. And you'll want to see them over and over because Dralion is a dazzler. --David Horiuchi
|Cirque Du Soleil - Corteo (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]
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List price: $26.99
Bring home the magic, artistry and phenomenal acrobatics of Corteo, the latest Cirque du Soleil show, captured in hi definition! Corteo, which means "cortege" in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth. The clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring angels. Juxtaposing the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection, the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us. The music, by turns lyrical and playful, carries Corteo through a timeless celebration in which illusion teases reality.
|Cirque du Soleil - Solstrom - The Complete Series
Lowest used price: $23.23
Brand: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
A child in a sandbox. An architect at a construction site. A high wire shimmering over an Italian piazza. Aliens performing at a cosmic discotheque. All are touched by the solar wind, a magical energy force that transforms everyday life into a playful world blending fantasy with acrobatic performance.
Since its inception in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has delighted spectators in more than 100 cities around the world. Now for the first time, Cirque du Soleil presents Solstrom, a new and extraordinary 13-part television series.
Solstrom is a 13-part variety series starring members of Canada’s Cirque du Soleil along with some new discoveries. Originally broadcast on Bravo in the US, each episode has a different national identity and features numerous feats of gravity-defying derring-do. The performers hail from Cirque productions Dralion, Zumanity, La Nouba, Saltimbanco, Varekaï, Alegría, Mystère, Quidam, and "O."
Wind is the overriding theme, specifically a "solar wind" that transforms ordinary citizens into graceful athletes. "Wind of Romance," for instance, is set in an Italian villa where the inhabitants interact through gestures rather than words. A love affair is played out on a clothesline-as-tightrope, a suitor woos his intended out of a painting through acrobatics, a couple fights and makes up through juggling, and another re-connects via flashback to an aerial pas de deux. Other acts incorporate pyrotechnics, unicycles, and physical comedy. Brazil is the setting for "Twin Winds," which focuses on duos and features contortionists, jugglers, aerial straps, and boleadoras (tap dancers with stone-tipped ropes). Other settings: Romania ("Howling Wind"), Paris ("Rockin' Wind"), London ("Once Upon a Wind"), the Caribbean ("Wind of Freedom"), Hollywood ("Ghostly Wind"), Nevada ("Gone With the Winds"), Quebec ("Wind From the Past" and "Winds of Courage"), New York City ("Wind of Imagination"), Salzburg ("Wind of Life"), and even outer space ("Cosmic Wind").
There are a few special guests along for the ride: Naomi Campbell in "Ghostly Wind," Dave Coulthard in "Gone With the Winds," and Milla Jovovich, Christopher Lambert, and Deepak Chopra in "Cosmic Wind." A somewhat irritating mad scientist character named Fogus Punch (Cirque regular John Gilkey with voice by Alex Ivanovici), who discovered the solar wind, introduces each episode. Fortunately, his screen time is mostly limited to the opening sequence and the occasional reaction shot. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
|Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba
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Enter the magical world of La Nouba. Here anything is possible: dreams become reality and talent turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. Filmed live in high definition at its permanent location at the Walt Disney World (r) Resort in Orlando, La Nouba is a dream come true from Cirque du Soleil. Amid this waking dream, you'll find clowns, ballerinas, trapeze artists and so much more. From the incredible BMX bicycle act to displays of precision and balance on high-wire, Cirque du Soleil performers continue to thrill and awe fans of all ages. Let the magic and festive spirit of La Nouba carry you away.
Spectacle-makers Cirque du Soleil push the sheer abundance of eye-candy to the maximum in La Nouba. While some astonishing physical feat is underway, a host of colorful clown characters dart in and out at the fringes of the stage. For some viewers, this will only enhance the experience--others will find them an annoying distraction, particularly the lackluster quartet of white-faced clowns who almost never go away. This, combined with some overly busy camerawork, threatens to undermine the show; but the acrobatics are topnotch as ever. The German Wheel, phenomenal bicyclists, trapeze acts, flying straps, tightrope walkers (including a sequence in which a woman does a hand-stand on top of a tightrope walker's head), chair-balancing, and a particularly impressive extended trampoline routine will make La Nouba satisfying. --Bret Fetzer
|Cirque du Soleil - Midnight Sun
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List price: $19.99
Brand: Sony Pictures Home ENT
Co-produced by Amèrimage-Spectra and Productions Conte IV, a subsidiary of Cirque du Soleil Images,Midnight Sun features 150 circus artists, entertainers and street performers, as well as over 100 singers and musicians. All these artists came together on July 11, 2004, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Festival International de Jazz de Montrèal and Cirque du Soleil's 20th birthday by performing in a magnificent show on the main stage of the Festival International de Jazz de Montrèal.
|Cirque du Soleil - Journey of Man
Lowest new price: $5.25
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List price: $19.99
Brand: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
Cirque du Soleil™ JOURNEY OF MAN is a breathtaking odyssey that follows the stages of human development from birth to maturity, with each stage presented by a Cirque du Soleil™ act. The signature Cirque du Soleil™ celebration of color, light, music and costume combine with a backdrop of various natural and historical landmarks around the world, creating a triumph of artistry beyond compare. From the opening explosion of light and sound that represents the universe's formation, Cirque du Soleil™ Journey of Man leads us through the birth of the Universal Child as it travels from childhood, through adolescence and manhood, on to maturity. An awe-inspiring feast for the senses, incomparable artistry and stylish elegance make this an adventure of a lifetime.
|Cirque du Soleil - Lovesick
Lowest new price: $14.36
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List price: $19.99
Dare to enter the sensual world of LOVESICK, an adult-themed, reality-based drama that explores the eccentric lives lead by Sin City's glaring spotlights.
From the creators of the reality series Fire Within comes another look at the creation of a Cirque du Soleil production--in this case, the controversial and erotic Zumanity, which performs exclusively in Las Vegas. Lovesick follows four performers--drag MC Joey Arias (also seen in Mondo New York); an alarmingly muscular Cuban named Alex, who discovers his girlfriend is pregnant as he's in the midst of the show's development; British Laetitia, who keeps imagining her father's unhappy response to the show; and Canadian Jonel, who's soon to be married--if her fiance can make it across the border. As the documentary chronicles the bumpy and often abrasive process of Zumanity's creation, it delves into the strain the show puts on the performers' relationships, both because of the show's sexual content and the enormous commitment it requires. Viewers seeking titillation will probably be disappointed, as Lovesick only provides glimpses of Zumanity itself. But anyone interested in the interplay between on-stage and off in the lives of performers will find this documentary fascinating and wish it had only gone further into the dancers' psyches. --Bret Fetzer
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