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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



"Howling Winds"

Episode 06: "Howling Winds" (CBC, Canada)
Episode 03: "Gothic" (Bravo, USA)

Two zebras from the show "O" blow solar wind into a decrepit hotel, transforming it into a strange gothic manor where curious phenomena occur. As the hotel proprietor looks on, inanimate objects are brought to life. Death itself is among the hotel guests, all of whom engage in schemes that appear unusual: one guest eats a salad bowl, while a young bride acts as if she were a bat and her husband follows a ghostly seductress. The proprietor doesn't seem to mind the bizarre behaviour of his staff: the head waiter is growing canine teeth, the waitresses' unruly conduct, and the loud music in the restaurant, etc. He has not even noticed that the bellboy has grown to such an extent that his head has disappeared from view. In fact, the only thing that troubles him is all the hair growing on his body, making him resemble a… werewolf!

First Aired: January 4, 2004 (CBC)
April 25, 2004 (Bravo)

    Cirque du Soleil Artists

    • The Other Life The Zebras from "O" -- Plunged into the wonder, terror and joy of "O", the zebras struggle to maintain balance in a stormy universe. They constantly realign themselves, hanging on until the very end. Their entire number takes place suspended in mid-air. Resembling a playground jungle gym, the giant aerial frame they use was created by Cirque du Soleil specialists to facilitate choreography and gymnastics in an aerial space between the sky and the water.

    • Juggling from Dralion -- This veteran of several international festivals was awarded a Clown d’Argent at the 27th Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo. Performed by Viktor Kee.

    • Slackwire from Mystere -- This father and son duo "balances" comedy and acrobatic skill. Performed by Brian and Nicky Dewhurst.

    Guest Artists

    • Clowns (turbulent waitresses) -- Performed by Adriana Duch and Alba and Dominguez Mora.
    • Hand-to-Hand (Duo Iouvilov) -- Performed by Ernest Iouvilov and Samantha Larible Iouvilov.
    • Slackwire -- Performed by Nicolette Hazewinkel.
    • Spanish Web -- Performed by Jason Papp.
    • Static Trapeze -- Performed by Shana Carroll.
    • Swallowing -- Performed by Stevie Starr.

    The script of the episode finds a newlywed couple (Mystère's Nicky Dewhurst and Shana Caroll from Les 7 doigts de la main) checking into a hotel on their wedding night. Two Zebra characters from "O" use the solar wind to transform the hotel into a gothic manor filled with about every tired Halloween cliché you could ever think of, presented in such a campy style viewers will groan and roll their eyes. The overall look and feel is of a bad amusement park fun house. The ideas are hackneyed, the pacing is slow and the music (by FM Le Sieur and mixed by François Arbour) is electronic and average.

    The episode does have a few assets. An appearance by Mystère's Brian Dewhurst as the hotel's owner is welcome although he doesn't get to do much. For the most part the collection of featured circus acts in this episode is above average. The show opens with Dralion's Viktor Kee performing his contact juggling routine. The act is presented in its entirety and with its original music, but the presentation is dulled with the absence of Azala the Goddess of Air floating above to pass the balls, and by the addition of a cheap wavy distortion video effect.

    Jason Papp of Quidam returns to Solstrom to perform a brief Spanish Web act. He plays a spider but the costume's black leather suit and mask make the performer look like he belongs in a fetish club. Hmm, did someone say "Zumanity"?

    Nicolette Hazewinkel returns as a ghost who lures Nicky Dewhurst to the hotel lobby where she walks across a tightrope while wearing high- heeled shoes. Nicky Dewhurst, of course, follows the apparition and scampers across the wire himself to perform a routine adapted from his act in Nouvelle Expérience. It's nice to revisit a classic Cirque act though sadly Brian Dewhurst does not perform his comedic portion of the slack wire routine.

    Ernest Louvilov and Samantha Larible Louvilov appear to the new bride and perform a hand-to-hand acrobatic pas de deux. Though the pair is talented the presentation of the act isn't anything exciting; average costumes, un-involving score and minimal choreography.

    The episode also has a couple of asinine offerings. Throwing away any pretense of good taste, Stevie Starr performs a grotesque act where he swallows and regurgitates various objects such as an 8-ball, a candle and a light bulb. The act made me cringe for several reasons and wonder if this is the kind of lowball sideshow that passes for entertainment nowadays. Later, two waitresses played by Adriana Duch and Alba Dominguez Mora get into a WWE-style wrestling match. This act is much too violent for Solstrom's intended audience of very young children and much too stupid to be enjoyed by the rest of us.

    Thankfully, the episode closes on a high note with Shana Caroll performing her beautiful static trapeze number from Les 7 Doigts de la Main. Her performance would have actually been affecting if it weren't placed in such a goofy context. But the same can be said of many of Solstrom's acts.

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

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