Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cirque du Soleil: 25 Years of Costumes

For it's 25th anniversary, Cirque du Soleil produced a book celebrating its costumes, and collected some of the favorites of a good number of its shows. The book is absolutely loaded with some of the company's most masterful work. Here you finally get to see up close exactly what the costumes and even make up, look like. Even more intriguing, almost every image is coupled with a block of text; sometimes describing the material, sometimes its creation, sometimes its role, and sometimes its symbolic meaning. 

The book is divided by show. Each section starts with a dominating single image, and a short bio about the show. The text is usually a short synopsis of the plot, but sometimes it is more the idea that inspired the subsequent performance.  

 The book is also divided by small sections that go into more detail about the creation of the costumes. Some of the issues addressed is the materials needed for acrobatic performances, how to dye the fabrics, how to apply sturdy sequins, and how to apply flawless makeup. 

Of course, this book can only exemplify the stationary qualities of the garments. They are really in their full element when they are in movement. 

Each show's costumes were directed by a different artist, and each show caters to a different audience. The resulting work is a wide amalgamation of truly splendid examples of just what makes the Cirque du Soleil performances so amazing. 

Pros: Every text block is available in 5 different languages, and there is a lot of really interesting information of every page. The color quality is good, and the pages are a thick matte consistency. There is also a nice overview of a good number of the shows.

Cons: It's a large book (11"x14"), especially for a soft cover, and the binding feels a little soft for its size. Not to worry, it will hold together, but it is not made for rough handling. Also, it gives you a little taste of each show, but not every single costume (you would probably need an encyclopedia set) but most favorites are on display. 

How to Buy: Amazon says that the book is no longer available, or you have to buy it from other people for $150. However, I was able to buy it directly from the official Cirque du Soleil website. I am under the impression that it was popular enough to get a second printing

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