This anniversary collection celebrates the achievements of the world renowned Cirque du Soleil. The collection includes 11 Cirque du Soleil productions plus a bonus DVD of Midnight Sun, a once-in-a-lifetime special event captured on DVD. The title within this colorful collection are: A Baroque Odyssey, Allegria, Cirque Reinvente, Dralion, Journey of Man, La Magie Continue, Nouvelle Experience, Quidam, Saltimbanco, Varekai, and La Nouba.
Cirque du Soleil's Anniversary Collection 1984-2005 is a 12-disc retrospective of the Canadian troupe's distinctive brand of performance, involving the fantastic feats of acrobatics and athleticism, balance and contortion; the single-ring techno circus; the multicolored lights and costumes; the abstract story lines of fantasy and self-discovery; the music that fuses rock, New Age, and various world influences; and the madcap clowns that prey on their live audiences. The programs included are La Magie Continue (1986); Cirque Reinvente (1989); Nouvelle Experience (1991); Saltimbanco (1994), the 1994 documentary retrospective A Baroque Odyssey; the Amsterdam-set Quidam (1999); Allegria (1999), the live Sydney show; the Chinese-influenced Dralion (2000), in its standard, non-Superbit release; the relatively short IMAX film Journey of Man (2002); Varekai (2002), from Toronto; La Nouba (2003), from Walt Disney World; and Midnight Sun, strikingly staged outdoors at the 2004 Montreal International Jazz Festival.
That's a lot of aerial feats, tricks, and tumbling, but the set is not designed to absorb in one sitting. Rather, viewers can sample both the simpler early shows and the stunning later performances that, with their 5.1 sound and widescreen pictures, are perfectly suited to home theaters. Compiling 12 previously released DVDs in space-saving Thinpaks at an economical price, the Anniversary Collection is nearly all the Cirque du Soleil you could ever want, but completists should note that the set does not include the feature film Allegria: An Enchanting Fable, the bonus disc of Varekai, the reality-TV show Fires Within, and the 13-part variety series Solstrom. --David Horiuchi