Cirque Du Soleil

I started by typing “digital story funny” into Google to see what would come up and this caught my interest in the middle of the first page. “9 Things Digital Storytelling Can Learn from Cirque Du Soleil” by Larissa on January 28, 2009. Looking generally at the website, ANidea seems to be a blog created by the employees of Agencynet, which seems to offer marketing, multimedia, and other technological services targeted towards an online environment (with a really cool interactive multimedia company website, by the way).

Back to the article, I scanned down the page to see if it included examples and figured that it would still work for this assignment… plus I get to see Cirque clips. :)  The article also included links to other digital stories, which included more interactive multimedia experiences as opposed to just watching YouTube clips.

The second Cirque clip, the Cry Wheel Act, got me to think about live performance versus recordings. How does the recording detract from the authenticity of the event or do you lose anything in making a recording as opposed to being live? While the acrobatic dance and music seems a bit more abstract than a person talking about their story, the way that the clips get framed create their own mini stories from the larger performance going on. This particular clip reveals a nice transition into the Wheel Act and something going on with a couple (man and a woman) plus a bunch of other male performers. They spin around in circles within their giant circles… first the woman alone, then the man alone, then more men join, and finally all four performers. A costumed donkey with two men inside of it stand off to the side. It seems like a journey scene, but I’m not entirely sure how they manage to keep a story going because the audience tends to be fascinated with the sheer artistry of the performers. Looking up the show information, Corteo is about a festive parade imagined by a clown…

Are these clips representative of digital storytelling because they’ve been digitized or do they not really fit an acceptable definition? I think there’s some sort of story being told in this act… but my inability to interpret it doesn’t seem to negate its status as a story because the web probably had plenty of bad examples of digital storytelling leaving confused viewers behind. I would argue that the dance/acrobatics would fit in a nontraditional definition of storytelling, which brings up the question of accessibility. For example, how do vision or hearing disabled individuals reap any benefits from this flowering of digital storytelling?

On a side note, it also reminds me of how movie trailers want to create interest in a story, but not give away the whole thing and still remain coherent enough to stand by itself.

Category: W2: Digital Story
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