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.
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