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Cirque du Soleil - Fire Within (TV Series) (2002)

Kevin Atherton Laprise , Andrew Atherton , Bachir Bensaddek , Ezra Soiferman  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Cirque du Soleil - Fire Within (TV Series) + Cirque du Soleil - Varekai + Cirque Du Soleil - Worlds Away
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Atherton Laprise, Andrew Atherton, Paul James Bannerman, Ashley Beaver, Adrian Berinde
  • Directors: Bachir Bensaddek, Ezra Soiferman, Lewis Cohen
  • Writers: Lewis Cohen, Cleo Paskal
  • Producers: Amy Introcaso, Arnie Gelbart, Christian Barcellos, Marie Côté
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 286 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002XNSZO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,186 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cirque du Soleil - Fire Within (TV Series)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 13 episodes on three discs
  • Reunion special
  • Q&A with selected artists and director Lewis Cohen
  • Cirque du Soleil Promos

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Product Description

The 2003 winner of the Emmy® for Outstanding Nonfiction Program (Alternative), this 13-episode television series offers an intimate look into the dreams, trials and aspirations of a core group of performers involved in the creation and launch of Varekai™, the live production from Cirque du Soleil.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, though not thorough July 7, 2005
As a huge Cirque Du Soleil fan, I was thrilled to see the Bravo documentary series on DVD since I had missed it when it aired. I watched the entire series in a matter of two days--I was hooked immediately as it is such a long and cut-throat, yet fascinating process.
My negative criticism is that I feel like the show could have been developed so much more. We only meet a fraction of the people involved in Varekai; I would love to have spent some time getting to know the clowns (in my opinion, the magician and his assistant are one of the best parts of Varekai and I was hoping to see them in this series), gotten to watch the younger ones and how they were handled through the process. They also neglected to finish some story lines. I don't want to ruin a plot line for you so I'll be vague (though it still might give it away), but no problem finding another singer after all of the frustration in the first half of the series?
Eventhough I feel like so much stuff was left out that could have been amazing to watch, I still think this one-of-a-kind glimpse into the process is phenominal, and I do recommend the purchase for anyone interested in Cirque and their behind-the-scenes struggles and processes.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series! January 16, 2005
This documentary series is definitely something all Cirque fans HAVE to see, especially those who like Varekai. Mobster describes the miniseries well. With a look behind how Varekai was made, from the auditions before they even had a name for the show, until the magical premiere, It'll be a big Cirque fan pleaser. This was the first time I'd seen it (I didn't catch it on TV), and I loved it. With all the ups, downs, and real life drama (and trust me, this isn't the stereotypical "reality TV show". This really is "real life."), I really got into it. It brought out many emotions from excitement to sadness, laughter to being on the brink of tears. It was just a wonderful show. It really gives you a larger respect for what the performers are doing on stage. It lets you see a "human side to Cirque" as one of the Atherton twins said. And, along with the show, you also get an extra episode--The Reunion. A reunion of all the original performers. I loved every bit of these DVD's. I definitely recommend it if you're a fan of Cirque. :)
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Show Behind the Show November 27, 2004
Verified Purchase
Fire Within gives an intimate and revealing look at the making of a Cirque du Soleil show. From the chaotic and fragile beginnings (auditions), through creation-and recreation-to triumphant debut and tour, Fire Within chronicles the birth of Varekai. This 13-episode miniseries is full of human drama: the blossoming of stars and the flame-out of would-be stars. Fire Within shows that what ends up as a dazzling display of creative and acrobatic genius has its share of less than sparkling moments-even dark times in which the future of both the show and some of its performers teeter on the brink of disaster.

The DVD also includes extras (no surprise), including a reunion of the main players in Fire Within and a preview of a new DVD, Solstrom.

This series won a 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Program. But I rated it only 4 stars because I felt that ultimately, the drama was a bit lacking. Still, a great look back stage. I gained an even greater appreciation for what I see on stage.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great behind the scenes view of a spectacular show! March 9, 2006
I loved Fire Within when it was on TV. I am a huge fan of Cirque and loved that we were able to look into what goes into making a show. I am usually more interested in back story after I've seen the show, but this was such a great introduction to Varekai that I knew that show was going to be terrific. While some people complain that there is a lack of character development for a large part of the cast, I feel that these people weren't trying to play characters, they were themselves through and through and to much admiration of the creators they didn't force anything that wasn't going to naturally happen. The reunion and updates of what the cast is doing now is quite surprising and a very good addition to the show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
On a recent flight, I watched the Cirque-centric film All Together Now, a 'making of' featurette depicting how the Cirque/Beatles collaboration 'Love' came into being. I really loved that film. It called to my mind this earlier behind the scenes-style production, which detailed the incubation of Cirque du Soleil - Varekai. What I found most interesting about 'Fire Within': how it reveals this supposedly most innovative and unique of organizations as no different than any other organization, with the boring meetings, palace intrigue, factional fighting, fear of authority, and often ham-fisted handling of personnel to show for it.

Despite all the problems that crop up (we're seeing the proverbial sausage get made here), there's triumph at the end. Mostly it's due to the often super-human efforts of the performers and to director Dominic Champagne's will to painstakingly keep this often-careening vehicle on the road. Of questionable help: founder and spiritual guide (and awesome entrepreneur), Guy Laliberté, whose imperial reign and 'bungee boss' presence strikes near-catatonic dread into everyone whenever the mere rumor of his next visit enters the storyline. [The palpable fear expressed by everyone about Guy's next visit reminded me of Don Logan's impending arrival in Sexy Beast.]

This being Reality TV, not all the story lines are destined for a happy ending. British gymnasts Gareth Hopkins and Ashley Beaver get soullessly dumped despite capturing viewers hearts throughout the series' dominant arc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic show, great for everyone
Even if you just love documentaries, not circus, you should watch this. And if you do love circus, this is a fantastic treat- an inside look at the workings of both Cirque du... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Meredith
4.0 out of 5 stars alternate
If you can't afford a live performance or can't travel to see this is a good alternative, especially if you have a wide screen and/or HD TV.
Published 10 months ago by MLE
1.0 out of 5 stars Why show your private good work., And it soupuse to a magical World.,...
well it takes the magic of all the special work that familys do in there time., they work hard and they are great., we are allways a actor and every one. Read more
Published 11 months ago by William Martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars Cirque is the Best
You need to see it to believe and appreciate it. Nice to see how they got to where they needed to be in order to achieve the awesomeness of Varekai. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Dimps
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to Cirque fan's library
I've loved Cirque for a long time. This series brings a whole new dimension to the show, and helps understand the difficulties and lives that the performers and producers, etc go... Read more
Published 17 months ago by C. Hines
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside Cirque
This takes you inside the minds and hearts of people from all over the world. It shows you what the people of Cirque du Soleil must endure to make the show and the rigors involved... Read more
Published on December 8, 2009 by Dallas
5.0 out of 5 stars Cirque du Soleil-Fire Within
Our family very much enjoyed this entire series. It makes Cirque du Soliel really come to life. A program worth watching!
Published on January 7, 2009 by Mary Zuhn
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is absolute
This TV program is about internal affairs, about a "kitchen" of a world-famous Cirque du Soleil, about hard work and nice bodies from around a globe spectaculars pay for seeing in... Read more
Published on February 15, 2008 by Michael Kerjman
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but overly dramatic
Many of the comments already made regarding certain dramatic elements not making sense are right on point, particularly the lead singer for the show. Read more
Published on July 11, 2006
3.0 out of 5 stars worthwhile but also disappointing
I can imagine much hand-wringing on the part of Cirque faithful who read this. I love seeing Cirque perform -- have seen 2 different live shows and 2-3 others on DVD myself -- and... Read more
Published on March 3, 2005 by RB
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