Solstrom (2003)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Cirque Du Soleil
Extras: Making Of Featurette, Photo Gallery, Promos

For fans of the ’Cirque Du Soleil’ their production ’Solstrom’ is a true revelation. Almost 10 hours of performances, presented in the typical unparalleled quality of the Canadian troupe of acrobats. Since this is a television production by design, many of the limitations of a traveling troupe fall away and the Cirque is able to perform in front of lush soundstages with intricate details and backdrops, representing over 100 locations around the globe.

On 5 DVDs Sony Pictures is presenting the entire 13-part ’Solstrom’ production as well as a few bonus features. The show is presented in its original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The presentation is absolutely clean and clear. A high level of detail brings out the best in the colorful costumes and settings and restores every nuance of the intricate and atmospheric lighting that enhances each performance. Every hues is perfectly reproduced and skin tones are also natural at all times, making sure to faithfully present the production. Blacks are deep and give the image solid visual depth. No edge-enhancement is visible and the compression is also without flaws, doing this ’Superbit’ release complete justice.

The audio on the release comes as a wonderful 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that is complemented by a DTS track. Music is an integral part in the Cirque Du Soleil performances and it is great to see the audio come to life magnificently on these tracks. Every subtlety in the arrangement and performance of the music makes it through clearly and the entire production has a nice transparent sound. Surrounds are used mostly to create a wide sound field with early reflections bleeding in from the read to extend the soundstage. Subtitles in a large selection of languages are also provided on the release.

As extras the DVD set contains a making of featurette, an extensive photo gallery and promo clips for other Cirque Du Soleil shows.

I found it very interesting to watch ’Solstrom’ as it is ’Cirque Du Soleil’ in a slightly different light, and as I mention in the opening, for fans of the troupe, ’Solstrom’ is a true revelation that belongs into every fan’s DVD collection.