La Nouba

La Nouba (2004)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Extras: Interviews, Promos, Meet The Musicians, Gallery

I’ve been an admirer of Cirque Du Soleil’s shows for many years, ever since I first saw ’Mystére’ at the Treasure Island in Las Vegas. I try to keep up with their productions, although it is getting increasingly difficult, as new show are springing up left and right. The popularity of these shows is also easily recognizable by the fact that virtually every major casino in Las Vegas is now host to its own Cirque Du Soleil production. Not bad in a day and age where everyone will tell you that the circus is dead.

In an effort to reach more and more people, the Cirque Du Soleil productions have begun to diversify quite a bit in recent years, with shows like ’Zumanity’ targeting the sexy adult crowd for example. ’La Nouba’ is a production catering squarely to today’s youngsters. Including hip-hop music and dance routines it is quickly evident that the target audience for this production is not your average Cirque Du Soleil fan, but fortunately for everyone involved, the show is not entirely hippified and can also be enjoyed by those among us who do not have an appreciation of modern-day music at all, as the lavish and colorful production still manages to capture your imagination. As in all Cirque Du Soleil performances, this is a mix of racy acrobatics, including juggling, high flying wire acts, contortion, muscle-man, clowns and much, much more. Sprinkled with the energetic music, a breathtaking light show and performers that would put most Olympic athletes to shame, the production of ’La Nouba’ is once again a thoroughly enjoyable piece of entertainment.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is presenting the show in a 1.78:1 widescreen format in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The image is wonderfully rich and awash in colors and hues, bringing out the best of the production. No noise mars the picture at any time and colors are solid without bleeding or over-saturation. Black levels are also solid, creating deep shadows that further enhance the atmosphere. No edge-enhancement or compression artifacts distract from the experience.

The audio comes as a splendid 5.1 channel mix that is big and offers a wide sound stage. Surrounds are used adequately to enhance the spatial atmosphere of a live production with early reflections coming in from the rears to give the sound field a natural depth. The frequency response creates a voluminous presentation with fabulous basses and clear high ends.

As extras you’ll find brief introductions to the musicians of the show, as well as interviews with some of the cast members as they talk about their backgrounds and the work that goes into a show like this. A Photo gallery and promo spots round out this release.

’La Nouba’ is a Cirque Du Soleil production that once again captivates all the senses. To me ’Saltimbanco’ is still the very best of their shows, but frankly, there is no such thing as a bad Cirque Du Soleil show. You can pick up any one of them and be entirely mesmerized. So, pick up ’La Nouba’ some time and escape into their world of colors, music, aesthetics and circus acrobatics.