I was invited to the grand opening of Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion last night in Atlanta. This was the sixth Cirque that I have seen, and while it still didn’t top Las Vegas’ spectacular O (which is the greatest performance of anything I’ve seen in my life), it still left me amazed and in awe.
Dralion draws its inspiration from Eastern philosophy and the quest for balance and harmony between humans and nature. The show’s name represents the East (the dragon) and the West (the lion). As the show begins, we’re introduced to each of the four elements: air, water, fire, and earth. In a blend of cultures, we see these elements interact with man and nature to exist in a harmoniousness and stunningly artistic way.
There were only two acts that I hadn’t seen in a Cirque before – Hoop Diving (which is exactly what it sounds like) and the most amazing display of jump rope I’ve ever seen ( two stories comprised of 11 men all at one time ). There’s also the aerial silks and hoops, amazing bamboo pole balancing (which looks all the more incredible with the decoration they’ve added to the poles), lots of weird bending and balancing (in ways that seem completely impossible and likely to break the human body), and my personal favorite – the combination of the trampoline and the wall. There doesn’t seem to be an official name for this, but I first saw it in Ovo last year. The performers use the trampolines to perform gymnastics and aerials which are combined with a special wall that has a number of platforms on it (Example). It’s truly a sight to see.
I’m continually amazed by the choreography of every Cirque I see. The creative moves and the perfect timing seem almost impossible to the audience. Yet the performers always make it look so effortless and natural. I whispered to my friend that I’d absolutely love for Cirque to start a traveling camp where us normal peeps could go and attempt, in some simplified way, some of these amazing feats (or really any excuse to play on the trampoline and that wall… or partake in the aerial silks). It all just seems so fluid and fun.
Dralion just has it’s grand opening last night and will be in the Atlanta/Duluth area through September 4th! Then it will continue traveling throughout the Southeast until just after the new year. Make sure to check it out, and check another Cirque du Soleil off your list! It’s a night of amazing feats, great music, and some great laughs from the clowns (that look more like the 3 stooges) that entertain you throughout the show!
Review By: Emma
Official Site: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/dralion
– August 25th – 28th, 2011: Atlanta (Phillips Arena)
– August 31st – September 4th, 2011: Duluth (Gwinnett Arena)