Most awful Cirque show I've seen yet. "F"
Dave Y. | Kennewick, WA USA | 06/10/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I am a huuuuuuge Cirque du Soleil fan. I have virtually all of the DVDs and several of the soundtracks. Even my MySpace page is themed after it. My favorite shows are Alegria, Varekai, Quidam, La Nouba and even Saltimbanco and Dralion were good. Corte was probably my least favorite... until now that is. I was very eager to watch this show but oh was I disappointed. :(
One of the reasons I love Cirque du Soleil so much is the lovely music and wonderful artistic displays and costumes. This show butchered just about everything I thought was so cool about Cirque du Soleil and they managed to pull it off all in one night. Someone was either high or passed the buck to some other group to put this disastrous piece of show together. If I were the founder of Cirque du Soleil, I'd take this DVD outa print and spare the embarrassment.
Like the other reviewer, I agree, the performers looked like adults throwing tantrums and the Plexiglas wall was just too much. Aah the French. ;) Most of the performers failed to maintain a presence of character. They simply looked like people performing a bad routine that was thrown together at the last minute and so they were trying hard not to screw it up. There's very little expression or emotion conveyed through any of their actions or expressions (except to see them out of character and smirking and chatting with each other) and, as a result, you don't buy into the fantasy or emotional experience that Cirque du Soleil is so famous for creating.
Unfortunately, I also hated the music with only a few small exceptions. The singers were mostly terrible; often off key, and what's with the chick dressed up like Paris Hilton? Or how `bout "stick in her hair lady"??? How in the world did she get a singing job in the show? Wow! The orchestra was also sub-par on many performances. The horn section was often out of tune (yes - out of tune) and the band just wasn't together. I was really disappointed. :(
The good performances were the guy on the German Wheel (from Quidam), The Statue: Vis Versa, which is the muscley couple that contort and balance each other in weird positions (also from Quidam - they were in perfect character), a few of the singers were ok (including Francesca Gagnon), and some of the backup dancers kept in character. Other than these few exceptions it was lackluster entirely. Even the lighting, fireworks and smoke was a disappointment in their presentation. I've seen better open air rock concerts than this and this was supposed to be their 20 year anniversary show. Sigh.
Parents should note that there's a bit more "sex appeal" in this show (nothing extreme at all and no nudity but a little racy - hey, it's French), but there are worse reasons than that to make you want to hide yours and your children's eyes and ears from this awful performance. I'm sorry to be so negative but the show really bummed me out. The tango scene near the beginning of the show did not flow. Uh, you might say it was "lusty" but it wasn't passionate or expressive of emotion and it just was some really crappy dancing. Fortunately, my DVD player has fast forward where you can hear the audio at high speed too (and the pitch doesn't change), so the best part was watching boring performances disappear quickly. ;)
Dare I go on? Ok, you talked me into it. They destroyed just about every song they performed except a couple, which were adequate. Perhaps some of that is due to a limitation of the size of this live performance so I'll give the sound crew their fair share of the blame and just the natural complexity of such a massive coordinated event, but this show just didn't connect like so many of the others. The song Alegria was decent in this show (and carried some emotion), though not as good as the DVD performance. Francesca Gagnon (a.k.a. The Singer in White) was lovely on Alegria, but not at her peak here - I still enjoyed her performance though). Her version of Querer was, unfortunately, not good at all (in my opinion). :( I would much rather recommend her new solo CD than this DVD any day.
All in all I would not even recommend this show as a rental (even to diehard Cirque fans). It was not entertaining. It will not be watched again in my collection. :( How's that for a review? I'm just being honest. Save your money and buy one of the good DVD shows like Alegria, La Nouba, Varekai, or Quidam. Even the earlier DVD's before the show reached the level of sophistication they are at today are much more enjoyable to watch than this! Even better, go to a live performance!
1 generous star, and that's only because I love Francesca Gagnon's beautiful voice and there were a couple of fair moments, but over all this is a horrible show - certainly not something you would want to give to a friend to introduce them to Cirque du Soleil.
An entertaining concert
Robert G. Leroe | Saugus, MA USA | 06/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In order to appreciate this DVD, I think you have to see it more as a concert than a typical Cirque performance. As a live, outdoor concert, it works. The DVD captures the excitement of the crowd and if you especially enjoy the Euro-music of Cirque, this one's for you. It is light on acrobatics, but visually interesting, and the music is (overall) great. It can't compare with Varekai or Allegria; it's not that kind of show. I don't get the negativity of the other reviews, but we all have our subjective opinions. I'm glad I got this one."
Thank goodness for the fast forward button
J. Duggan | NJ | 07/27/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Midnight Sun is watchable and even enjoyable if you can fast foward through the boring lackluster dancing and the boring and weird acrylic wall dancing (WHAT IS THAT???). I really gave this a chance because it looked so innovative but after a while it become down right embarrasing.
The aerial acts and wheel balancing were breathtaking and I loved the music and singing. I suspect that much of the uneveness of this production is that is was a one of a kind performance and not refined for touring. Some of it had a thrown together atmosphere. Also, it was certainly much more fun to be there in the audience.
An uneven but interesting show worth a look as long as you are not expecting another Varekai.
Cirque du soleil jazz festival
Fran Butterfield | 06/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was part of the Montreal Jazz festival.Not much cirque on this dvd, and not one of my favorites, more music but remember this was done outside, and there was not much else you can do at a jazz festival .So if your looking more for cirque get one of the other dvds."