Tuesday August 22nd 2017

“Dralion” Cirque Du Soleil

Every year, we are privileged to have a Cirque Du Soleil production in our area- Rosemont, Hoffman Estates or the United Center are the host venues, large enough to contain the equipment needed to present these spectacles, which are in reality “artistic performance art” pieces, but are viewed by most as theatrical productions rather than a “circus”! Some of those productions have been done in special tents, built just for the performance art, but the design of this current production  “Dralion” works perfectly in an arena such as Allstate Arena in Rosemont thru this Sunday the 24th and then it moves to The United Center from June 27th thru July 1st.

The title of the show “Dralion” is a combination of the Dragon representing the East and the Lion, representing the West as the artistry of the talented performers tells us of the quest for harmony between humans and nature. Cirque Do Soleil always feels the need to tell us a story of sorts in order to blend all of the performance art and possibly to justify the ticket price, but there is a lot of majestic artistry in this piece- as we watch the elements Air,Fire,Water and Earth merge together to bring a sort of harmony among the elements. As usual, there are also clowns, who tend to be more of the diversion needed while the set up for the next number is being prepared or costume changes are being made.

The clowns begin the show by mingling and playing with the audience, picking on one in particular, who later in the show surprises the clowns himself.( I won’t tell you anymore as you need to experience it fr yourself). In fact, perhaps the best term for this performance piece is a theatrical experience, but to be honest, not for the younger set- not just the ticket price, but the show is over two hour with an intermission and many of the routines or diversions have dark lighting or semi-adult themes.The clowns as well as the performers are from many different ethnicity’s;  look at the last names and you will see what I mean( Munoz,Hugues,Adela,Orozco,Gbou, Pandeya,Delong,Tao,Kholodovska,Vorobyeva,Morin Xin,Zabala,Sohoer- get the idea? Talk about harmony! What a pleasure to see a show where the talent is as diversified as the audience!

While there are many typical production numbers/acts, there were some new “models” of some we have seen before; Basile Dragon’s juggling in the first act was cleverly choreographed and Hah Yuzhen does a new twist on hand balancing- wow!, along with some unusual bamboo poles. The trampoline number is also one where you will find yourself nervous for the performers who work together in going between the two trampolines, crossing each other in mid-air and climbing the fairly high walls of the set. The first act ends with a unique number where the Dralions ( two performers in a specialized costume ( by the way , the costumes were amazing) do a ball balance act that will astound you. Act one is not as fast paced as I would have hoped or, but the music, both by the band and the vocalists fills in just fine. The second act is faster paced and seems to be more attractive to the eye, with a new twist on the hoop diving and aerial hoop ( Marie-Eve Bisson is an amazing aerialist- how she walks off the stage after her fnal twists is amazing ). The rope jumping segment is one that has been taken to a whole new level and the clowns do a parody on the whole show themselves in which they truly shine.

“Dalion” is here for a short period, unlike Cirque Shanghai that comes to Navy Pier for the entire season, but if you have the chance to experience “Dralion” you will leave with some beautiful and  spirited memeories . Again, it is at Allstate Arena thru this Sunday, and then moves on the 27th to United Center with performances as follows:

Wednesday-Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m.,Saturday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday ( this) at 1 and 5 p.m. but at the United Center, only at 1 p.m. so rthe can pack up and hit the road.

Tickets range from $35 ( I believe there are also specials for kids and seniors as wll as groups) and can be purchased by going to any Ticketmaster outlet or online at www.ticketmaster.com or you can also visit www.cirqudusoleil.com/dralion  


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