My Rating:

A stone's throw from brilliant!

Bitable Bytes:
"You get to see everything!"
"Good entertainment!"
"The best circus in the world!"
"One marvels at the skill of these acrobats!"

What to do while watching:
Cuddle up with someone.

What to eat while watching:
Peanuts and popcorn with a toy surprise inside.

Here's a paradox for you, dear readers. Something was missing from this video. You'd think it would be great, seeing Cirque de Soliel up close. You get to see everything--facial expressions, minute quivers of the acrobats bodies as they feel for their stability, throat mics of the vocalists, close-ups of various people's body parts. I guess it's not such a paradox. As fun as it is to watch a circus, part of the joy is being far away.

Especially with this videography. I'm not sure why, but very few people have ever picked up on the simple brilliance of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers movies: the camera shot holds the entire body. You can see everything from crown to sole, and that is about as expressive as you can get. Add to this slow panning: the eye can follow the momentum and movement of the body and get a full kinesthetic sense of the dance.

Now there are mostly full body shots in Quidam, and mostly smooth pans, but just throw in one or two inappropriately tight shots or quick cuts and the entire movement phrase gets lost. I'm whining, people! I wanted a circus, and I got a video of a circus. Teach me to expect $50 worth of live entertainment from a $2 video.

Complaints aside, you get a lot of good entertainment. Cirque de Soliel is entirely up to its standard for flabberghasting acrobatic stunts. The guy in the huge wheel who opens the show is my high-energy favorite. The ring-master pulls some clever tricks. There is a tower of four people standing feet upon shoulder, and some of the most incredible bolo tossing executed by four little girls. It remains the best circus in the world, in my opinion.

The costuming, choreography, and gestalt of the vaudevillian opera is medieval as usual with a sort of swords and sorcery air that doesn't get lost even when placed in the heart of a suburban girl's fantasy. But it's mainly about the excitement of the circus--and it does deliver. One marvels at the skill of these acrobats!

In all, a nice night. With the heater on through the first night of rain this winter, Mrs. Worsted and I quite enjoyed dozing by the fine, light soundtrack. Was that Yma Sumac?

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