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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



"Wind from the Past"

Episode 08: "Wind from the Past" (CBC, Canada)
Episode 09: "Childhood" (Bravo, USA)

Feeling lazy, the Dreamer from the show Saltimbanco climbs into a cluttered attic, planning to take a little nap. He makes so much noise clumsily knocking around that Old Max comes up to see what is going on. He finds nothing abnormal about his attic… only that Eddie, the character from his jack-in-the-box, is standing beside him in flesh and blood. Solar wind and the Dreamer have clearly been at work. Soon after, Old Max and Eddie literally jump into the toy box after getting acquainted. At the bottom, the old man gets the surprise of his life: he has become a child once again! The toy box is the setting of several encounters. They meet a suspicious bicycle salesman, a powerful warden of a fortified castle, a multitude of highly talented children, an electronic knight and two individuals whom Old Max knows very, very well…

First Aired: January 18, 2004 (CBC)
June 6, 2004 (Bravo)

    Cirque du Soleil Artists

    • The Other Life of The Dreamer from Saltimbanco -- Saltimbanco is magical, electric, overwhelming. The show breathes energy, yet from the moment he appears, the Dreamer falls asleep. When he does, amazing tableaus take shape. Has he conjured Saltimbanco from the depths of his imagination, or is he dreaming within the show? The Dreamer is played by Guennadi Tchijov.

    • Adagio from Saltimbanco -- This breathtaking act is performed by three members of the same family — father, mother and son. Performed by: Andreiy Vintilov, Maxsim Vintilov and Oxana Vintilova.

    • Bungee from Saltimbanco -- With bungee cords attached to their hips, four acrobats fly through the air performing acrobatic moves. Performed by Dmitri Beliaikov, Nico Karsdorf, Valeriy Kharun, Nicolle Liquorish, Edi Moreno Barata, Vitalii Redoun, Michael Rosenberger and Carolyne Vita.

    Guest Artists

    • Acrobatic Ball -- Performed by Louis-Marc Bruneau-Dumoulin.
    • Artistic Cycling -- Performed by Justin Case.
    • BMX Biking / Inline Skating with Ramp -- Performed by: Pascal Boucher, Vincent Daniel, Charles Deschamps and Julien Deschamps.
    • Fire Eating -- Performed by Ronald Gagné.
    • German Wheel -- Performed by Chloé St-Jean-Richard.
    • Juggling (balls) -- Performed by Bruno Gagnon.
    • Poses Plastiques (hand-to-hand and contortion) -- Trio Shulekine: Margarita Baranova, Marina Chernysheva and Loulia Kossolapova.
    • Ribbon -- Performed by Anastasia and Alexandra Fomina.
    • Skipping Ropes -- Performed by: Renée Bibeau, Jeffery Mauss, Lyndsey Mayer, Jason Papp, Faon Shane and Nick Woodard.
    • Slackwire -- Performed by Slava Chabanenko.
    • Trampoline -- Performed by Alain Gauthier.

    It appears the producers of Solstrom have finally stopped trying. "Wind from the Past" is just awful. I really hate being so harsh on an episode meant to showcase the talents of child performers, and there is definitely a great deal of talent to showcase, but as always the production accoutrements (or lack thereof in this series) are thrown together so haphazardly that their neglect renders the episode almost completely unenjoyable.

    This episode is a random, sloppy mess. The lack of structure and focus makes it the most banal offering in an already mundane line-up. I've never asked, "Is this over yet?" while watching anything produced by Cirque du Soleil, until this episode when that question crossed my mind several times. And it really is a shame that this episode was staged and filmed so poorly because there are some highly talented young performers featured, and if done properly the episode could have provided a wonderful medium for them to show off their skill. Sadly Solstrom just did what it usually does, waste talent.

    The inconsequential story finds The Dreamer from Saltimbanco (Guennadi Tchijov) climbing into an old mans attic to find a place to sleep. He crawls into a crib and with a puff of solar wind transforms the overhead mobile into an aerial ballet. The Bungee Ballet was by far my favourite act when I saw it performed live in Saltimbanco, the vision of majestic white birds soaring across the sky and the overwhelming awe and exhilaration that the act conveys was nothing short of magical. None of that magic is conveyed on screen in Solstrom. Taken out of context, the act is still beautiful but short of sublime.

    When the Sleeper causes a commotion, the Old Man investigates and soon happens upon Eddie (Jesko Von Den Steinen, also of Saltimbanco) who serves as a Peter Pan figure. Eddie leads the Old Man through his toy chest into a very low-budget looking Never Never Land. The Old Man has become a boy again (gee, I never saw that one coming) and together Eddie and the Boy (Saltimbanco's Maxsim Vintilov) venture through this goofy and chaotic world out of a childs imagination. . .or at least out of the imaginations of the producers of a low-budget TV show for pre-schoolers.

    Along the way the pair encounters a group on BMX bikes and in-line skates (Pascal Boucher, Vincent Daniel, Charles Deschamps, Julien Deschamps), a bicycle salesman (Justin Case) who performs a goofy trick cycling act, a fire eater (Ronald Gagné), a juggler (Bruno Gagnon), a little girl masterfully manipulating a full-size German Wheel (Chloé St-Jean-Richard), another child scampering along on an acrobatic ball (Louis-Marc Bruneau-Dumoulin) and little girls performing rhythmic gymnastics with ribbons (Anastasia Fomina, Alexandra Fomina). All of these "acts" are really just brief glimpses of one or two tricks, no thought whatsoever is given to their presentation.

    Margarita Baranova, Marina Chernysheva and Loulia Kossolapova, the "Trio Shulekine" perform a hand-to-hand/contortion number for which they won the Bronze medal at the 2003 L'Avenir de Cirque de Demain festival. Slava Chabanenko performs an impressive slack wire act. Again, these young performers show a great deal of raw talent but the presentation of the acts is overlooked, and consequently they become tedious.

    Renée Bibeau, Jason Papp, Faon Shane, Jeffery Mauss, Lyndsey Mayer and Nick Woodard perform an impressive acrobatic skipping rope number to a bad disco score. The former three artists are Quidam alumni, the latter three are World Junior Skipping Champions.

    Alain Gauthier becomes a human video game character by performing on a trampoline. The routine is standard, but you have to give the producers points for trying to present this act in a fun context. Unfortunately the act is too long and becomes boring quite quickly.

    Another Saltimbanco act book-ends the episode, the beautiful Adagio Trio performed by Andreiy Vintilov, Maxsim Vintilov and Oxana Vintilova. I've seen this number performed by three different families and each brings its own unique style to the act. The Vintilovs' act is quite spectacular and is easily the highlight of an otherwise dreadful episode.

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

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