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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



"Ghostly Wind"

Episode 04: "Ghostly Wind" (CBC, Canada)
Episode 07: "Disguises" (Bravo, USA)

It is a dark, stormy night. The night watchman in a costume warehouse plays with paper dolls to pass the time. He is so absorbed that he does not notice the mysterious presence of the Âme Force from Dralion. As she sings, solar wind spreads throughout the warehouse and costumes come to life. Suddenly, there is a blackout and the warehouse is haunted by two mocking and quarrelsome ghosts! Strange, unexplainable things happen to the night watchman and the warehouse. Who will believe that he was hypnotised by ghosts, attended a real Brazilian fiesta, and even participated in a fashion show with top-model Naomi Campbell? He won't be able to explain but in the end he may not be the crazy one!

First Aired: December 21, 2003 (CBC)
May 26, 2004 (Bravo)

    Cirque du Soleil Artists

    • The Other Life of The Âme Force from Dralion -- In Dralion's extraordinary voyage through a futuristic dimension-a place without time, ruled by magical laws-the voice of Dralion sings in an invented language to which only Cirque du Soleil holds the key. Its mysterious accents echo down through time. The Âme Force symbolizes ultimate harmony between the four elements: earth, air, fire and water.

    • Aerial Contortion in Silk from Quidam -- Act developed by Chassé at the age of 20. Combining contortion and aerial silks, the acrobat winds and moves herself along the length of two cloths suspended from the ceiling. Performed by Isabelle Chassé.

    • Ballet on Lights from Dralion -- Standing on pointe, acrobats perform hand-to-hand and contortion poses while balancing on light bulbs screwed into a special floor. Performed by Li Xiang, Ting Ting Miao, Cuicui Ren, Yu Zhong, Ying Lin, Leilei Luan and Hailing Huang.

    Guest Artists

    • Air and Silk Contortion -- Performed by Isabelle Chassé
    • Brazilian Carnival -- Performed by 11 dancers choreographed by Marcelo Juarez Villa
    • Contortion -- Performed by Vladimir Gagarine
    • Flying Trapeze -- Performed by: Jill, Anthony and Willy Pages, Justin Chodkowski and Lazaro Miguel Fernandez
    • Hula Hoops -- Performed by Elena Tselishtcheva
    • Transformation -- Performed by David Maas and Dania Kaseeva

    "Ghostly Wind's" hackneyed storyline features some contrived nonsense about ghosts (Stephan Kreiss and Petra Massey) wreaking havoc on a costume warehouse and its night watchman (Aitor Basauri Barruetabena), causing a conflict between the security guard and his disbelieving supervisor (Toby Park).

    The solar wind character for this episode is Dralion's Âme Force played enchantingly by Cirque vocal coach and former performer Laur Fugère. This is perhaps the first instance in the entire series where a solar wind character is actually used effectively. Laur accentuates the music of the episode with her exotic vocalizations and plays the role with a coy, ethereal charm in her fleeting moments of screen time.

    Without exception Solstrom's strongest acts are those taken directly from the live stage shows of the Cirque du Soleil. "Ghostly Wind" opens powerfully with Isabelle Chassé's Aerial Contortion in Silk from Quidam. This being one of my all-time favourite Cirque du Soleil acts I was very apprehensive about seeing it featured in Solstrom, as I was almost certain its presentation would somehow be butchered. Gladly, save for a few annoying cuts to the clown character and one intrusive and completely unnecessary interjection from good ol' Fogus Punch (the mad scientist/narrator character), the act remains intact and is accompanied by Laur's stirring rendition of "Let Me Fall" Skill for skill and moment for moment the Aerial Contortion act is almost exactly the same as when it was filmed for the Quidam DVD. Though the camera work and cinematography for this particular act is the best ever featured in Solstrom it comes nowhere near the level of the masterful and evocative filming of Quidam Live in Amsterdam five years ago.

    Later in the show the second adapted act is presented; Dralion's Ballet on Lights. Whereas the featured act from Quidam is performed almost identically to its previous filming, the Ballet on Lights act from Dralion is very different. Since the filming of Dralion in 2000 this act, where dancers perform en pointe on an array of light bulbs, has undergone a complete makeover. The costumes are different, the choreography has changed and the skills are dramatically improved. The difficulty level of the skills; towers, balancing and contortion, is heightened. The act is now quite spectacular. Being one of Dralion's few truly innovative acts it is fortunate that this new incarnation gets its turn to shine in front of the lens.

    Of the non-Cirque acts the standout of this episode is the contortion number presented by Vladimir Gagarine from the Academy of Tula. Presenting an act he refined for the 2003 edition of the Piste aux Espoirs international festival for circus artists, the young Russian gracefully contorts his flexible body into many exotic figures. The act is presented with a middle-eastern flavour in its music, costume treatment and style of movement, and with its artistry it is truer in form to Cirque du Soleil. It presents contortion in an artistic context instead of mindlessly going for the shock value and gross-out factor of some of Solstrom's previous contortion acts.

    The remainder of this episode's acts never attain this level of refined artistry. Transformation is a magic act featuring David Maas and Dania Kaseeva. Dania almost instantly changes costumes before our eyes a total of 10 times in the three-minute act. Though I'm sure this act is impressive live on stage, in the day and age of digital effects the grandeur of the illusion fails to register on television.

    The cute Elena Tselishtcheva of the Great Moscow State Circus performs a Hoops act. The performer whirls a myriad of hula-hoops around her body, keeping several going at once. This act is similar to the one performed by Elena Lev of Alegría and Quidam fame minus the choreography, contortion and rhythmic gymnastic elements.

    There is a very brief interlude featuring a troupe of dancers, choreographed by Marcelo Juarez Villa, creating a scene from a Brazilian Carnivale. True to the spirit of Carnivale this number is largely free-style and unstructured.

    The Flying Pages, an acrobatic family, closes the episode with a flying trapeze number. Though the performers are talented the act is nothing we haven't seen before in dozens of other circus shows and comes off as blasé without any special music, choreography or costume treatment.

    Somewhere along the way supermodel (and rumored apple of Cirque Co- Founder Guy Laliberté's eye) Naomi Campbell makes a completely superfluous cameo in a mock fashion show. And, soon after, another largely forgettable episode of Solstrom concludes.

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

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