Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines
To me, the coolest part of a Cirque du Soleil show is sitting in awe of an incredibly talented troupe, oohing and aahing as they perform impossible physical acts with ludicrous ease. Balancing on one hand and very slowly contorting oneself into various pretzel-inspired shapes with careful precision? Propelling oneself from a trampoline in such a way that it looks as if walls were meant to be walked on? Jumping rope while doing a headstand? Piece of cake!
The show’s name comes from a blend of the two symbolic animals featured as a single hybrid in the show: the dragon, symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West. Each of the four elements – air, water, fire, and earth – are represented in human form with incredibly limber entourages. The costumes for each element draw from African, South Asian, and Chinese influences. The show is especially enchanting when the elements and their coteries mix, blending their unique styles into a mélange of acrobatics, balance, and strength.
This synthesis – of music, dance styles, dress, even simple movements – enables the show to stand out from a typical acrobatics performance. It’s a treat watching dancers in African-influenced dress perform acrobatics through stacked Chinese hoops to music and vocalizations inspired by Indian kathak dance. Cirque du Soleil “Dralion” is whimsical, humorous, enchanting, and entertaining for audiences of all ages.
THREE WORDS: Not easily impressed, Mike calls it “bright, powerful, captivating”.
Running time: 2 hours and 20 minutes, with one 20-minute intermission
At United Center for a limited engagement
Saturday, June 30 at 3:30pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, July 1 at 1:00pm and 5:00pm
For show and ticket information, please visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/dralion
Single Handbalancing. Picture credit: Daniel Desmarais. Costume credit : François Barbeau ©2006 Cirque du Soleil
Tags: Cirque du Soleil, Dralion, Eleni Uranis, François Barbeau, Gilles Ste-Croix, Guy Caron, Guy Desrochers, Guy Laliberté, Harvey Robitaille, Jasleen Jaswal Vines, Julie Lachance, Lin Yung Biau, Luc Lafortune, Pierre Guillotte, Stéphane Roy, Sylvie Galarneau, United Center, Violaine Corradi