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Cirque du Soleil - Solstrom - The Complete Series

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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(Apr 26, 2005)
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$211.99 $36.81

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Special Features

  • Includes the entire series, featuring the following episodes:
  • Wind of Romance
  • Rockin' Wind
  • Once Upon A Wind
  • Gone with the Winds
  • Featurette: Making of
  • Photo gallery
  • Cirque du Soleil promos
  • High bit rate digital transfer process that optimizes video quality; compatible with all DVD players

Product Details

  • Actors: John Gilkey, Alex Ivanovici, Marie-Josée Beaudreau, Jason Papp, Blas Villalpando
  • Writers: Edmond Bensimon, Pascal Elbé
  • Producers: Martin Bolduc, Yolande Riccioli
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai, Korean
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    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: 5
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 585 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007SMGTI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,584 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cirque du Soleil - Solstrom - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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According to the short documentary, the purpose of Solstrom was to reach an international FAMILY audience and NOT the hard-core Cirque fans. So the humor was broad and the theme simplistic. Limited to two takes because of performer fatigue, each episode took seven days to put together with the artists arriving the day before rehearsal. Actual filming was only four days, utilizing 150 people working almost 24/7 to put together 130 numbers in four months on a limited budget and time constraints. The customer reviewer that wanted Cirque to "go to Italy" just didn't get the premise of the "stage show" where no one cared if you saw the overhead lighting fixtures as the camera moved off the set. Really, how would they have rigged some of the acts if they had gone outdoors? With a crane? And taking the whole crew to Italy for ONE show? The purpose of the show was an experiment for televison, which is a cold flat medium. The "theme" for each show was usually held together by some of the clown acts from the Cirque shows who helped to move the dramatic storyline that framed the acrobatic acts. Not every episode worked but there are enough for those who enjoy "family-oriented" entertainment and are not the jaded jet-set Cirque fans. The show allowed 200 more acts to be seen besides the established Cirque performers. The Superbit version has excellent video and sound quality. Using the Closed-Captions option reveals some lines of dialog-comments that were not spoken by Fogus Punch. The series flows and plays much better without the interruptions of the commercials. If you have no imagination and have no sense of humor, don't buy this DVD.
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Having seen actual Cirque Du Soleil shows myself, I'll tell you first off that you really have to be there in person to get the full effect of someone dangling 50 feet in the air above you, or having a performer do a double backflip almost into your lap, and engage you in a staring contest.

The little stories that are told in Solstrom follow the Cirque tradition, but that's the very problem. The way it's always felt to me, Cirque Du Soleil isn't really meant to be watched on TV. While it's great to watch in person, it feels all too much like a Saturday morning kids special, with computer-generated sparkles, and cheesy music.

As for the acts themselves, they're absolutely mindblowing, as I could only expect from Cirque Du Soleil. Some of the performers from the actual shows make appearances, along with other very talented people you may or may not have seen elsewhere, such as diabolo experts, jugglers of all sorts, and even professonal bubble blowers.

This would definitely be excellent to watch with kids, but adults may get a little antsy having to put up with the cheesy sound effects and scenery.

Acts get an absolute 5, but you'd have to be 5 years old to enjoy everything in between.
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Cirque in all it's glory - these are acts that perhaps didn't make the final cut to be in a regular show, but I still appreciate the chance to see them and judge for myself.

I enjoyed every episode thoroughly, and I also enjoyed seeing Milla Jovovich - how could anyone NOT like her?

Good series if you are a true Cirque afficianado!
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Although this doesn't compare to the actual Performance DVDs it's an interesting mix of acts from most of the Cirque Shows. The biggest bonus: performances from shows not yet available on DVD (Zumanity, Mystère, and "O"). If you're a big Cirque fan you will enjoy this DVD. Hopefully Cirque will eventually release DVDs of their resident shows in Vegas (Zumanity, Mystère, "O", Ka and Love) like they did for La Nouba in Disney. Let's face it, most of us could never afford to see all these shows live. :o)
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By VCS on December 13, 2012
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I love Cirque du Soleil especially the characters that John Gilkey plays, he's my favorite performer and I got to watch him in this show/series but not just him lots of other talented Cirque performers as well as lots of other talented guest performers, all of whom do an amazing and wonderful job entertaining and showing the world what is possible with practice and a love for making other smile in the name of entertainment. This isn't traditional Cirque because it was designed for TV but it is a wonderful show and a wonderful look at the many talents of Cirque performers and lots of other talented people. If you truly love Cirque du Soleil this will be right up your alley to.
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I am a big fan of Cirque Du Soleil. I seen Alegria, Saltimbanco, La Nouba, Cirque Reinvente, Nouvelle Experience, LA Magie continue, Journey Of Man, A Baroque Odyssey, and Quidam. The other Cirque Du Soleil I have not seen. There are ten acts on each episode. Each episode is about 44 minutes in length. Out of the ten acts per episode 5 I recconize from the shows. The 5 acts on each episode that come from the shows are absolutely amazing. But then you have the other 5 acts on the episode which were not in any of the shows I saw. I know this because I have all the shows mentioned on DVD. Unfortionatly I only been to the show in Florida live all the rest I seen on DVD only.

The other five acts on each Episode are not up to Cirque Du Soleil standards. Those 5 acts per episode that are not in the shows are not bad acts. They are so, so acts not great but not bad either. I would give the 5 acts per episode not in the show 2.5 out of 5 stars. The five acts that are in the show per episode I would give 5 stars each. So to be precise I would rate this series 3.75 stars. Amazon does not have a rating system where you can put 3.75 stars out of five so I guess four stars out of five will do. Please keep in mind that the series contains 15 episodes and so far I have only watched 9 out of the 15 episodes. There are 3 episodes per DVD and their are 5 DVD's. So far I watched DVD 1,2, and 3. I have not watched DVD 4 or 5 yet. I feel that this makes a good purchase because of the number of 5 star acts. All the 2.5 acts stop this series from being a great buy but for $37.00 this series makes a good buy. Hope I helped with your buying decision and hopefully you enjoy the series as much or even more than I did.
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