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Cirque du Soleil - Varekai

4.4 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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(Oct 07, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, there is an extraordinary world-a world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai. From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary.

Amazon.com

Even by the high standards of Cirque du Soleil, Varekai is outstanding. While this artsy circus often aspires to weave a narrative through its spectacular events, in Varekai that story (about a winged boy who falls to earth and falls in love with a caterpillar girl) is as delightful and engaging as the acrobatic feats--which is saying a lot, because these feats will leave you agog. Acrobats juggle each others' bodies with their legs; identical twins spin on aerial straps; a contortionist twists into uncanny pretzel shapes; and much, much more. The elaborate costumes truly do evoke an otherworldly place--one of the clown characters looks like a man's torso emerging from the mouth of a carnivorous plant. Exceptionally well-filmed, and featuring a wealth of extra features about the making of the show, Varekai is Cirque du Soleil at the peak of its powers: Dizzy, dazzling, and sexy. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Multi-angle performances
  • Meet the Artists
  • In-depth interviews
  • The Making of an Angel documentary
  • "Fire Within" series preview
  • Promos

Product Details

  • Actors: John Gilkey, Alexei Anikine, Octavio Alegria, Alexei Atherton
  • Directors: Dominic Champagne
  • Writers: Dominic Champagne
  • Producers: Martin Bolduc
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • 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: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 7, 2003
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000B1A51
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,519 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cirque du Soleil - Varekai" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The acrobats are amazing, costumes and music make you feel as if you were dreaming. As stunning as this DVD is - it makes you want to see the whole thing live, and as awesome as the entire production of the show, so is the supplementary DVD containing interviews with the artists as well as all the challenges and hard work that went into producing this masterpiece.

The drama of this performance takes place deep within a forest, in an extraordinary world where just about anything is possible. The story begins with the fall of Icarus (from Greek mythology), where a romantic interest develops between him and one of the inhabitants of this world - a caterpillar who by the end of the show turns into a butterfly. While they are attempting to be together, numerous inhabitants of this world attempt to stand in their way, though in the end they manage to get married and there is a big celebration.

The entire production, including all the creative elements is a fruit of teamwork, where each artist contributed not only acrobatic skills, but also creativity.

Beside the extraordinary acrobats, dancers and musicians, from all over the world, there are several humorous and very creative clowns - the one that introduces the show is in a way an overseer of the inhabitants, an inventor, and quite a character.
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Format: DVD
My sister surprised me with tickets to see "Varekai!" in San Francisco a couple of months ago, and even though I love Cirque du Soleil and have seen many of their shows I was still totally blown away.

"Varekai!" has many of the familiar trademarks of the Cirque; the juggler, the comedy relief, the girl doing insane balancing tricks on some sort of pole/stand/etc. But this time around things are distinctly more colorful. The sets are designed to mimic a tropical rainforest, and the costumes are a cross between the brightest insects and animals of nature and Venice at Carnival time. There is also a heavier emphasis on dancers, particularly Gypsy and Romanian dancing. The results are spectacular.

While the full impact of the show cannot be felt by watching the DVD (there was one stunning sequence involving waltzing fireflies that simply does not come across on video), it is still well worth buying. The comedy is hilarious (we can thank the Cirque for actually making clowns funny instead of vaguely disturbing) and the music several notches above past Cirque endeavors. "Varekai!" is my favorite Cirque show (I've seen all of them except "O") and I highly highly recommend buying the DVD if you can't go see the actual show. Three cheers for a job well done and for a circus that continues to provide innovative and enchanting entertainment.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I got this DVD for Christmas and I can't stop watching it. My favorite of any Cirque show I've seen period. It's portrayed amazingly well on DVD, unlike other Cirque shows I've seen through DVD. The show alone would be worth the price of this DVD, but what's awesome about this is you get an entire DVD of extras! In-depth interviews, Meet The Artists, A preview of the Fire Within Series, The documentary "The Making of an Angel"...it's great! I love this show! I'm driving with my parents 11 hours away this January to see Varekai. It's that good and I'm absolutely in love with it. The acts are amazing and I love that it actually has a story line...and the story line is fabulous.

Icarus falls from the sky into the world of Varekai inhabited by strange creatures--some that want to help him on his journey to regaining his mobility and ability to fly again, and some that just want to weigh him down. And, on this Journey, he finds love, a caterpillar girl. But the creatures wanting to cause him harm, take his love away from him and put her in a cocoon. And, at the end, she comes back at the end as a beautiful butterfly and they finally are able to be together.

And, of course, this being Cirque, there are amazing acts to go with the story line:

Flight of Icarus: Beautiful. This is where Icarus struggles in a net that holds him captive. Anton Chelnokov expresses his emotion so well on this act, it's breathtaking. One of favorite acts on in the show. I nearly started crying just watching it on DVD.

Icarian Games-- Amazing! An act where one man juggles another with his feet. This is the first time I've ever seen foot juggling and it's definitely a sight to see. Another one of my favorites.

Water Meteors--Really fun to watch!
Read more ›
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Have seen numerous Cirque on DVD and this is by far one of the weaker ones. Sure the costumes are cool, but the story line is obtuse and the acrobatics are far from being the most exciting that Cirque has to offer. There is too much "down time" between the story and acts which kill the momentum. The editing is rapid fire - not leaving the viewer enough time to take in the entire scene in front of them. The shots don't linger long enough to enjoy or figure out what is happening. Perhaps the editor had too much coffee that morning - or better yet, the acts don't stand on their own - they need herky jerky editing to cover the hum drum nature of them.

I feel as if Cirque is sacrificing the acrobatics and the acts in favor of costumes and "art". For example, during one particularly col act the costumes were so.....flouncy and full of hanging off items, that it hid what was actually happening.

The production of the DVD is poor - HUGE sound drop offs throughout. Showing this to students and they can't stay engaged when the sound keeps dropping in and out. It is obviously something with the production, because it is a measured step own and then step back up in volume.

Skip this DVD - try Dralion or Quidam.
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