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Creative Team
Series Intro


Wind of Romance
Twin Winds
Howling Winds
Rockin Wind
Once Upon a Wind
Wind of Freedom
Ghostly Wind
Gone with
the Winds

Past Winds
Wind of

Wind of Life
Wind of Courage
Cosmic Wind



"Twin Winds"

Episode 07: "Twin Winds" (CBC, Canada)
Episode 02: "Double" or "Twins" (Bravo, USA)

A vain man enters his bathroom acting as if he were a celebrity. Admiring himself in the mirror, Narcissus Janeiro performs his usual rituals of body care and self-love. Then, two Nuts from the show La Nouba secretly sneak up to his mirror and blow solar wind into it. Narcissus can no longer see his reflection in the mirror. Intrigued, he climbs onto the sink, approaches the mirror and falls through to the other side! He is plunged into a universe of the absurd on the other side of the mirror. The setting in which he now finds himself is a caricature of his own bathroom, but he is not alone: he is surrounded by pairs of identical twins. It is the beginning of a crazy adventure in which the vain man attempts to find his lost reflection and to escape from this repetitive, dreamlike universe inhabited by pairs, each one more curious than the next.

First Aired: January 11, 2004 (CBC)
April 18, 2004 (Bravo)

    Cirque du Soleil Artists

    • The Other Life of The Nuts from La Nouba --La Nouba is an unforgettable journey through our universe-at once threatening and exhilarating, frightening and familiar. Inspired by the Pierrot clown, the nuts are dressed in white, to signify their naïve and innocent character. They are neither performers in the show, nor spectators. They are mischievous characters that exist between our reality and the reality of La Nouba. The Nuts are played by Pawel Biegaj and Witek Biegaj.

    • Icarian Games from Varekai -- One performer lies back on a platform and uses his feet to juggle another person, who executes various poses. Performed by the Rampin Brothers: Javier, Pedro and Ramon Santos.

    • Boleadoras from Saltimbanco -- Dancers create rhythms by tapping their feet and striking the ground with pairs of long, stone-tipped ropes, or "bolas." Performed by Hélène Lemay and Ann Bernard.

    • Aeriel Straps from Varekai --Gymnasts roll up and down two parallel hanging straps that are several yards long. Performed by Andrew and Kevin Atherton.

    Guest Artists

    • Bubbles -- Fan Yang. Performed by Ana, Deni, Fan, and Melody Yang.
    • Dancing Nose -- Performed by Charlie Schmidt.
    • Diabolo -- Performed by Patrick Léonard and Sébastien Soldevila.
    • Hand-to-Hand – Azalé. Performed by Julie Lavergne and Érika Lemay.
    • Hand-to-Hand -- Performed by Danil and Victor Kaloutskikh.
    • Juggling -- Doubble Troubble. Performed by Alex and Nick Karvounis.

    In this episode Sébastien Soldevila of Les 7 Doigts de la Main plays Narcissus Janeiro, a wealthy and vain Brazilian media magnate. During Narcissus' morning routine two Nuts from La Nouba blow solar wind into his mirror and change the vain mans reflection to one which is decidedly less ruggedly handsome (Patrick Léonard, also of 7 Doigts, plays the reflection). Narcissus follows his reflection through the mirror and enters a bizarre world of pairs played by various sets of twins and look-alike couples. He spends the episode wandering through this strange world and witnessing performances by the different duos. I appreciate the fact that the premise of this week's episode is a simple take on Lewis Caroll's "Alice Through the Looking Glass" and does not attempt to alter the featured acts to fit into the story, something the series has always done poorly.

    However, one absolutely inexcusable oversight that must be pointed out is that the episode did not feature the duo trapeze performance of Karyn and Sarah Steben, perhaps the most breathtaking twin act ever featured in a Cirque show. Nor did they feature either set of twins that replaced the Stebens in Saltimbanco and "O". Though the episode features some noteworthy performances, to a true Cirque fan it will be forever incomplete with the glaring absence of the Stebens.

    The first featured act is a breathtaking duo contortion act by Danil and Victor Kaloutskikh, twin brothers who can't be more than 9 years old. The pair performs a stunning and graceful contortion/hand- balancing act very similar to the duo contortion act originally performed by the two young Mongolian girls in Alegría. This act is one of the very rare instances when Solstrom features a non-Cirque act with music, choreography, costumes and performance quality worthy of Cirque du Soleil.

    Icarian Games from Varekai follows, or rather a short, alternate version of the act featuring only the Rampin Brothers (Javier, Pedro and Ramon Santos). This number is so much more thrilling live on stage in the context of Varekai. It really loses something in the translation to television.

    Next, a group called Fan Yang (Ana, Deni, Fan, and Melody Yang) performs a moderately interesting if unspectacular act called The Science of Bubbles where the family blows soap bubbles in various shapes, some filled with smoke, to make bubble sculptures. The group is also capable of making bubbles large enough for a person to fit inside and has apparently won seven Guinness World Record titles for doing so.

    Narcissus then happens upon a pair of women performing a beautiful and highly sensual hand-to-hand number. Julie Lavergne and Érika Lemay, known as "Azalé," perform in Cirque Éos. The artistic elements of their number are definitely done in the Cirque style but the presentation isn't as high-calibre as Cirque du Soleil. Regardless, the act is performed beautifully and is a welcome addition to Solstrom.

    An asinine comedy bit follows; Charlie Schmidt presses his nose up against a pane of glass so he can make it "dance" to music. This might have been amusing when I was five years old but now it just comes off as stupid. Mercifully, this number is very short.

    Saltimbanco's brilliant Boleadoras act follows. This is an original performance in which Hélène Lemay and Ann Bernard blend the bolas (small weights on elastics that make a loud percussive sound when they strike the floor) with flamenco into a unique dance/percussion number I loved this number when I saw it live in Saltimbanco, however in Solstrom it is shortened and the filming leaves much to be desired. The majority of the shots feature the performers' upper bodies when all of the action is happening on the ground.

    Alex and Nick Karvounis, a pair known as "Doubble Troubble" perform a standard juggling act with balls, clubs and flaming torches. There isn't much when it comes to the presentation but the routine itself is mildly amusing.

    The Atherton Twins (Kevin and Andrew) perform their breathtaking Aerial Straps number from Varekai. The act is mostly intact and mostly unaltered though the sheer exhilaration of the aerial act doesn't come across on screen like it does under the Grand Chapiteau. I did enjoy the alternate version of the act's accompanying song "El Pendulo" featuring Laur Fugère and some more advanced skills that haven't been seen before, such as a spectacular single hand balance in mid-air as the act's finale.

    The episode closes with Sebastien and Patrick performing their show- stopping Diabolo tumbling routine from 7 Doigts. Again, the energy of the act is much better in front of a live audience, but the skills are all there and the number provides the episode with an adequate finale.

    Text written by Wayne Leung, as published in the “Fascination! Newsletter”.

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