Come un Lampo di Vita
April 19, 2013 10:32 PM   Subscribe

Cirque du Soleil Reinvents the Circus: La Cirque Réinventé. Nouvelle Expérience. Saltimbanco. A Baroque Odyssey. Alegría. Quidam. La Nouba. Dralion. Journey of Man. Varekai. Midnight Sun. . Corteo. Delerium. Koozå. All Together Now. Amaluna. Worlds Away.

Performance at 74th Academy Awards (2002)

Performance at 84th Academy Awards (2012) (Alt link, vimeo)

Discovery Channel show Time Warp: O

Cirque du Soleil: Solstrom:
Episode 1: Wind of Romance
Episode 2: Twin Winds With Spanish Subtitles
Episode 3: Howling Winds
Episode 4: Rockin' Wind
Episode 5: Once Upon a Wind
Episode 6: Wind of Freedom
Episode 7: Ghostly Wind (Missing)
Episode 8: Gone With the Winds With Spanish Subtitles
Episode 9: Wind from the Past (Missing)
Episode 10: Winds of Courage (Missing)
Episode 11: Wind of Imagination
Episode 12: Wind of Life (Missing)
Episode 13: Cosmic Wind

16x9: Getting into Cirque Du Soleil [Audition Documentary]

Previously on Metafilter: Wonder Woman
posted by zarq (23 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you for this extraordinary selection. Cirque is the Google of circuses. In some ways, it has massively expanded, popularized, and elevated the public's idea of circus arts. But at the same time, it has also become an overwrought, monopolistic behemoth that's drained a lot of talent from old circus arts communities, particularly those in the former USSR.
posted by Nomyte at 11:01 PM on April 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best of the web, indeed!
posted by sacrifix at 11:09 PM on April 19, 2013

I have many American friends in the circus arts who are doing incredible things of their own, but interestingly only a few have expressed interest in eventually becoming part of the Cirque machine. There's a pretty healthy circus underground in America now, but the amount of capital it takes to mount and tour a circus show is insane ... to say nothing of the impact it can have on the tight-knit communities that form around them. The one regional circus of which I had firsthand insider experience pretty much imploded from the stress of trying to go national. I respect Cirque for what they do (and see almost all the non-franchise-themed shows they tour around), but damn it's going to be hard for anyone else to get to that level.
posted by mykescipark at 11:40 PM on April 19, 2013 [4 favorites]

I'd love to hear more stories about that world, mykescipark.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:13 AM on April 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Huh, the full versions have actually been up for three months. I would have expected a takedown notice by now.

I guess these are blessed,
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:36 AM on April 20, 2013

Le Cirque also performed at the 2013 North American Auto Show as part of a promotion for the Infiniti Q50.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:42 AM on April 20, 2013

Varekai will always be my favorite thanks to the Lightbulb Act.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 5:56 AM on April 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've personally seen Delirium (a touring-only arena show performed with live music (a rarity in Cirque shows -- they mostly use prerecorded music)) and Love (the Beatles-based Vegas residency show developed with the cooperation of Apple Corps which is the subject of the All Together Now link above), both of them from VERY close to the stage, like within the first 4 rows.

They were both remarkable experiences -- very immersive performance art which left me breathless and astounded. They were also incredibly different from each other with the type of acts and action they offered.

I recommend catching some Cirque stuff live if you have half an interest. It's a wonderful night of watching wond'rous things.

This list of filmings is awesome. Thanks for posting. I look forward to reliving some of my past and exploring some of the other shows.
posted by hippybear at 6:38 AM on April 20, 2013

I did not find their buffoonery amusing.
posted by hal9k at 6:39 AM on April 20, 2013

hippybear: I regularly tell people that Love is the most entertained I've ever been. I almost cried when it started and sat completely enthralled, with the weirdest grin until it was over.
posted by DigDoug at 6:58 AM on April 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

We're going to see them in 2 weeks, looking forward to it as I've wanted to see a Cirque show for years.
posted by arcticseal at 7:35 AM on April 20, 2013

Which show are you going to see, arcticseal?
posted by hippybear at 7:45 AM on April 20, 2013

The only Cirque show I've seen live is Zumanity. It was richly sassy and kind of steamy and had just the right amount of clothing (almost none) on several dozen supremely toned bodies. I don't think the music was that great but it was a good show overall and I'm glad we saw it.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:06 AM on April 20, 2013

Also, let me here say that the soundtrack recording for Love is an album that no Beatles fan should miss. Sir George Martin and his son Giles spent years going through Beatles master tapes and created a musical collage which spans the entire career of the band. The mashing up of various elements from completely different songs is entirely thrilling.

I recommend getting the 5.1 surround version, actually. The show is produced in surround sound in the theater (as in, each chair has speakers by your ears and speakers in front of your face), and the surround really lets your brain revel in all these familiar elements being recombined in this new way.

Really, if this is the only artifact that remains from Cirque 20 years from now, it will have been worth all the fuss.
posted by hippybear at 8:27 AM on April 20, 2013

hippybear, we're seeing Amaluna in the big top at the Stampede grounds.
posted by arcticseal at 9:29 AM on April 20, 2013

I saw La Nouba live many years ago when I was in Orlando for a school band trip, and was lucky enough to catch Dralion when it was in my city back in 2010. I cheered, gasped, smiled, laughed... the shows are like this amazing sensory treat. It's like someone took all the good things about the circus, combined it with all the good things about concerts and musicals, then rolled it all up into a magical burrito with a generous dollop of awesome on top.

I will be dragging everyone i know to the next nearby showing.
posted by Verdandi at 9:31 AM on April 20, 2013

I have been taking a few classes at Cirque School LA, and holy crap is that stuff harder than it looks. And it never looked -easy-
posted by flaterik at 10:37 AM on April 20, 2013

only a few have expressed interest in eventually becoming part of the Cirque machine.

Cirque is also famous for owner Guy Laliberté's parties.

"...even Halperin was bowled over by the “Fellini-esque” account provided by one veteran of the Cirque’s early days. “Annie,” who worked there for years as an acrobat and part-time choreographer, describes a sex-obsessed world, where the Cirque’s upper echelon, a decent enough lot ordinarily, became, when stoned or drunk, “the animals absent from their circus.”

For me, this only adds to the ambiance. Somehow, imagining what goes on after the show makes the fairly steep ticket prices seem like an afterthought. (I know someone who's an ex-Cirque musician, and I often wonder if I should ask her if she's ever met Guy L. in the flesh, as it were. Fortunately, I'm too shy to ask.)

But it does seem like it could be a pretty strange place to work.
posted by sneebler at 5:14 PM on April 20, 2013

Amaluna is currently touring. For my fellow Albertans, it'll be in both Edmonton and Calgary soon (already open in Calgary). Those appear to be the only Canadian dates listed.
posted by asnider at 5:23 PM on April 20, 2013

hippybear (and everyone else,) you're quite welcome. Hope you get some enjoyment out of these vids.

I found some of these about a month ago after I decided to show my kids some of the Cirque VHS tapes that I had purchased at shows in the 80's and 90's. I plugged Saltimbanco into the VCR and the machine ate it. So I fired up YouTube instead, and was delighted to see there were full-length versions available. My son spent pretty much all of Alegria going, "Whoa. Wow. Whoa. Wow." My daughter asked questions nonstop: "Daddy, her butt is on her head. On. Her. HEAD! How does she bend her whole body like that?" "How do they jump so high?" "I want a hula hoop slinky!" Etc. :D

I love Cirque, and especially love that they put on incredible shows without animal acts! So no animal cruelty whatsoever - not in any of the ways that circuses have traditionally done so: training, confinement, performances, etc. Have seen the following shows in person: Le Cirque Réinventé, Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Mystère, Alegría, Quidam, and O. Am hoping Amaluna comes to the NY area at some point.

Every one is different and stunning in its own way.
posted by zarq at 7:34 PM on April 20, 2013

The Paragliding Circus
posted by homunculus at 7:37 PM on April 21, 2013

I really enjoyed Ovo when it played Hartford, CT, found the insect theme charming and in particular loved the Brazilian-flavored music. It's pretty tough to beat Cirque's combination of sound, stagecraft, costume design and sheer human talent.

I attended with a person in a wheelchair, and was delighted when not only did we get lots of extra attention (the ushers were fantastic at whisking her about during intermission) but also the best seats in the house.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:22 AM on April 22, 2013

Just got back from seeing Amaluna. My first Cirque show and I'm already ready to see it again. It was spectacular and breathtaking. The flying, the jumping, everything was beautifully done.
posted by arcticseal at 10:12 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

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