Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion Shines
Dralion’s aerial silk performance. Photo by Daniel Desmarais.
The beauty and magic of the stage production of Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion is undeniable, but it’s the perfect timing of the Olympics bringing extra attention to the athletic prowess of the show’s performers during this week’s Richmond stop.
With a fusion of ancient Chinese traditions and the well-known ethereal stylings of Cirque du Soleil, Dralion is packed to the brim with dance, live music and a bit of comedy. Performers represent the four elements of nature in human form — fire, water, air and earth — on trampoline, in the air and through hoops.
In this particular tour, the cast of 54 represent 16 different countries. Twenty-six are from China with one dance troop hand-picked by Cirque du Soleil’s team to perform ancient-inspired routines. Originally staged in 1999, Dralion was restaged for this arena tour in 2010. It marks the Cirque du Soleil’s first return to Richmond since 2007′s Delirium.
With acrobats flipping and balancing on 400 lb. wooden balls, precision comes with hours of daily training and 4-6 months of rehearsal prior to touring.
A peek behind the stage feels like an Olympic gymnasium complete with trampolines and fitness equipment. In fact, according to touring publicist Julie Desmarias, an entire truck is devoted to transporting a gym for the cast and full-service catering travels from city-to-city. These performers are well-taken care of which is a must for the endurance and athletic agility it takes from training to the stage.
In wardrobe, Desmarias shows elaborate costumes which were hand-stitched, hand-dyed, hand-painted in the company’s Montreal workshop and took three months to complete. While all of these performers show grace on stage, some of the costume pieces weigh up to 40 pounds.
As you can imagine, it’s a BIG show. The tour loaded in on Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. on 18 trucks. This year alone, Cirque du Soleil presents 22 different productions around the world. Check it out – it’s hard not to jaw drop with these super-human athletes showing displays of strength, balance, and coordination.
Kevin Clay is the editor and publisher of GAYRVA.COM. He is a Richmond native, loves the city and knows it's on the edge of greatness. Don't hold back RVA. You can follow Kevin on GAYRVA's Twitter or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From waterfalls to giant mountain ledges, we are immersed into every scene that is larger than life.November 28, 2015
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