Alegria (2003)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Extras: Featurettes, Meet The Artists, Promo Trailer

With "Alegria, " The Montreal-based troupe Cirque Du Soleil is serving up another spectacular feast for the senses, and like their previous shows, "Alegria" leaves you utterly speechless. Filled with the grandiose music with have come to love from shows such as "Dralion" or "Saltimbanco," the show creates an enchanting atmosphere of mystique and wonder, and even more so that the previous shows, "Alegria" seems to be designed more for the senses than for the spectacular numbers. Dazzling and poetic images with wonderful lighting, numbers that are beautifully choreographed for maximum visual impact and performances that make Olympic athletes look like beginners by comparison are the highlights of this show.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is presenting "Alegria" in an <$16x9,anamorphic> <$PS,widescreen> transfer on this DVD in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The image is clean and clear and colors are spectacularly reproduced. Vibrant and rich, the screen is awash in hues that are finely delineated, with blacks that are deep and solid and highlights that are perfectly balanced. No edge-enhancement is evident and compression artifacts are at a minimum, making sure the richness of the image and the detail of the footage is perfectly reproduced.

The <$5.1,5.1 channel> <$DD,Dolby Digital> audio track that is part of the release is equally masterful. Dynamic and using surrounds to great effect to expand the sound filed, the music is one of the highlights of the show. It has a very wide dynamic range, bringing across the low end of the spectrum as well as the crystal clear high ends. The dynamic range is also impressive, making sure ever little texture and element of the show is perfectly captured.

The DVD also contains a number of cool extras, such as behind-the-scenes featurettes, focusing on the production of the filmed version of the show and the show itself. What I like most about it is that it does not spoil the magic of the show like many special effects featurettes do, and it even increases the respect you have for these performers, as you see them training without the elaborate costumes, being seemingly ordinary people, performing some of the most breathtaking physical artistry. It is also great to see them troupe themselves cheering each other on during practice and just the sense of enjoyment, pride and friendship that connects these artists.

One of the greatest additions to the DVD is also the segment "Meet The Artists" in which each one of the artists has a personal video introduction, which is a wonderful nod to the people who makes this show possible.

Multi-angel presentations of the Fast Track and High Bar numbers are also included, giving you the chance to see magic in the works from four different angles, While video feeds of the unseen angels are visible in small windows on the side.

A brief promo spot for the soundtrack of "Alegria" is also included on the disc.

Like all other Cirque Du Soleil shows, "Alegria" is bound to steal your heart. It is simply amazing what these artists can do and how intricately the show is put together. The flamboyant costumes, the make-up and the flow of the show is something you will never forget. While it is impossible to capture the experience of an "Alegria" life show this DVD is as close as it will ever get! Cirque Du Soleil is the circus of the future and if you haven’t seen one of their shows yet, you just can’t know what you are missing. This DVD does a phenomenal job capturing the atmosphere of the show, so make sure to get your copy as soon as possible!