Bravo brings the amazing talents of Cirque du Soleil to
television in its new 13-part miniseries “Solstrom.”
The show is a far cry from today’s popular dramas and reality
TV, presenting a series of Cirque performances on a fabricated set
for a unique combination of television and theater. While the
performances themselves are no less than amazing, the program is
not as perfect as its artists and may prove to be uninteresting to
the college audience.

The pilot episode of the new series debuted during a weekend
tribute to Cirque du Soleil on Bravo. In addition to
“Solstrom,” the network aired several original Cirque
du Soleil performances. The series differs from the live show in
its overall theme. In the original, a mad scientist discovers the
creatures of Cirque du Soleil have left their home on the sun and
have come to earth to inspire humans to become amazing Cirque
performers.

In the first one-hour episode entitled “Romance,” a
female Cirque member named Fiona dressed in flamboyant costume and
make-up enters a small Italian village to stir things up. With a
breath of her “solar wind,” plain- clothed citizens are
soon walking tightropes, juggling and performing amazing acrobatic
dances. There is no dialogue throughout save for that with the mad
scientist who appears at the end of some scenes.

A major flaw in the series is the inclusion of the mad
scientist, who is bizarre and poorly acted. The character serves no
real purpose except to discredit the talent of Cirque du
Soleil.

Whether it be acrobats on bicycles or a man creating music from
a table full of water glasses, each segment of
“Solstrom” is unique and amazing, but might wear on the
audience’s attention. While varied cinematography supplies
views of the stunts from all angles, such shows are often more
spectacular when seen live. Consequently, the TV adaptation does
not inspire the “ooos” and “ahhs” such
miraculous acts warrant.

Each upcoming episode will have a different theme as it features
more famous Cirque du Soleil acts with some new performances as
well as the young French daredevil team Yamakasi. After one episode
it seems that there is nothing more to see and audiences may be
reluctant to devote an hour each Sunday to circus acts. However,
watching these artists push their bodies to the limits is at least
worth a peek.

 

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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