“Kurios About… the Kurios DVD”

June 12, 2017 Richasi

UPC –- 4-00005-23931-1
Catalog — 523931
Video — 1.78:1 Wide screen
Audio — English 2.0
Run Time –- 96 minutes (1 hour 36 minutes)
Region –- 0/All

It’s been a long and winding road, but we finally have a filmed version of Cirque du Soleil’s smash-hit show KURIOS in our hot little hands – and it’s awesome!

A BIT OF HISTORY

We first began traversing this path all the way back in December 2014, when our friends at TheChaptieau had the opportunity to speak to Amelie Robitaille, KURIOS’s publicist, who was kind enough to answer one of the fans’ most pressing questions: whether or not KURIOS would follow Amaluna’s steps and see a DVD released in the near future. (Amaluna was filmed in Toronto in 2012 and released onto DVD in December 2013). “We will, in the future,” Amelie said then. “I can’t guarantee when. All I know so far is we are not filming the DVD in San Francisco as we are too busy. So yes, there will be a DVD release eventually. Because we are such a popular show right now, we are a victim of our success, so we have 10 shows per week. We are so busy that we don’t have time to actually get involved in the filming of the DVD, but it will be happening soon.”

So we waited… patiently… for any word of filming. But then we heard some disparaging news: due to costs in producing the show, and its popularity, Cirque du Soleil decided not film the show. Ever. Wait, what?

And that, as they say, was that. Or so we thought.

Then out of nowhere on December 14, 2016, an Instagram post from Christa Mercey (Bella Donna in KURIOS), surprised many fans: “Make up ready for the DVD shoot. Let’s do this!” And if that didn’t convince anyone that KURIOS being filmed, another Instagram post by Kurios’ General Stage Manager pretty much confirmed it: it was a picture of a FILMING NOTICE sign alerting spectators that the event they were participating in that night was being recorded, and by walking into the big top they gave their consent to being filmed and photographed.

It was really happening! KURIOS was being filmed in Miami!

And on May 2, 2017, the DVD was available for purchase by fans during the Houston premiere of KURIOS’s tour. And that’s to a generous run by friend and fellow fan Jose Perez, we received a copy in the mail just a few days later.

So what do we think about it?

A KURIOS REVIEW

Unlike most fans, I find most of the filmed versions of these shows to be decent representations of their subject matter. While most fans decried the Quidam, Alegria, La Nouba, and Amaluna DVD representations, I did not. Sure, I found something to nit-pick on each of them (La Nouba’s especially), but for the most part everything one enjoys about the show is there. (We won’t even get into Saltimbanco’s recording, okay?). Prior to the release of KURIOS, Cirque du Soleil actually filmed and released two other shows: TORUK-The First Flight and Luzia. And while I would have some major issues with both of these – from the lack of HD releases to the way the scenes were cut and stitched back together – it was nice to have these for home consumption. For KURIOS though, I found the DVD to be very well put together and edited. I was also happy to find that virtually everything you see in the show – again with some exceptions – is there in some form. And that there weren’t too many camera tricks – slow motion, spinning, and too many quick cuts – like we’ve seen in previous show recordings.

Here’s what I liked about KURIOS on DVD:

1) I didn’t feel the cuts in the action were too obtrusive, as I’ve (and many fans) have complained about in previous recordings. It all felt good and solid; a well edited together show. I don’t recall any slow-motion effects (which were used more than necessary in previous DVDs), or spinning camera tricks. The folks doing this seem to love KURIOS, and it shows.

2) The video quality also looked better than TORUK and LUZIA, so that’s a plus. I didn’t notice aliasing effects in this one, unlike for TORUK, which was really, really noticeable. KURIOS’s presentation looked clean, crisp, and clear – and for a DVD in this day and age that’s saying something.

3) The Go-Pro camera angles were a nifty touch, but I’m glad they were used sparingly.

4) I really liked the split screen effect to show Nico’s puppetry act. That way we get to see both up activities up close.

5) The inclusion of the webseries “Kurios About” as a bonus feature. Running 26 minutes (although my DVD player said 23 minutes and 5 seconds), follow the cast and crew of KURIOS on tour, and find out what hides in their Cabinet of Curiosities. From the Big Top to Costumes, Make-up, Food and much more, the 12 episode “KURIOS About: The Webseries” gives fans a behind-the-scenes peek at the Cirque du Soleil’s 35th creation! Explore Cirque’s universe and reality from the eyes of an insider; see the artists and the staff work with devotion to make the show happen every day.

That being said I do have some nitpicks, however:

1) I found the constantly moving camera very distracting in the beginning, to the point where it was ruining the opening number (CHAOS SYNCHRO). Naturally there’s a lot going on in this act, but, it’s really not necessary to constantly track around the action. Hold the camera still and let the action happen around it. It’s like they wanted to show off they had the camera on dollies and cranes.

2) Sometimes the music playing did not match up with the action on screen. I only found this distracting one time, and this was in the opening number. [SPOILER] The crescendo that occurs as the juggler ascends into the air during the live show did NOT occur during the filmed version. Only after he came down did that point in the song occur. I’m sorry, but that kind of ruined the excitement of it all.

3) Speaking of the opening. [SPOILER] The artist train run that chugs along from one side of the stage to the other in the prologue is not in the recording. Although I can see why they didn’t include it, it’s really one of the best parts of the opening. It’s so quirky, and so KURIOS. It also helps give context to the arriving train in the Chaos Synchro opening number, but without it you don’t have that context. I did say it was a nitpick 😉

4) That damn light. Okay, how many times must you show that big-ass light in the rafters of the big top? I think we all get it by now that it’s a steampunk-themed show. The light is cool… the first couple of times… but c’mon now. Move the camera away from that light and follow the action, mmmkay?

5) The DVD artwork. Why is Microcosmos pictured on the cover? Microcosmos is a fascinating, and beloved character from the show yes, but why him over any other character? What was wrong with using the poster as the cover art for the DVD? After using the fantastic new colorful artwork for LUZIA’s DVD cover, the cover for KURIOS’ DVD just seems… bland.

THE CONCLUSION

Although everyone’s tastes are different, the KURIOS DVD is probably one of the most solid recordings of a show I’ve seen recently. As a fan of Cirque du Soleil and of KURIOS specifically, I’m very happy with it. The only action – a recommendation really – I would like Cirque du Soleil Images to consider is to begin releasing these in HD – either on Blu-Ray or digitally. TORUK, with its dazzling array of colorful scenes, would have greatly benefited from an HD release, and I have no doubt that LUZIA and KURIOS would as well. And, of course, while we’re at it, how about HD/Digital releases for all previously recorded shows!

At present time the KURIOS DVD – $25.00 USD – can only be found in two places: under the Grand Chapiteau at KURIOS, and at the Cirque du Soleil Boutique at La Nouba.

The post “Kurios About… the Kurios DVD” appeared first on Fascination! Newsletter.

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