|Company||Cirque du Soleil|
|Show type||Touring arena show|
|Date of premiere||April 22, 1999|
|Director of creation||Gilles Ste-Croix|
|Set designer||Stéphane Roy|
|Costume designer||François Barbeau|
|Clown act designer||Michel Dallaire|
|Lighting designer||Luc Lafortune|
|Sound designer||Guy Desrochers|
|General artistic director||Sylvie Galarneau|
|Company founder and CEO||Guy Laliberté|
|Preceded by||La Nouba (1998)|
|Succeeded by||Varekai (2002)|
Dralion (pronounced Drah-lee-on) is a touring production by the Canadian entertainment company Cirque du Soleil. The show combines elements of traditional Chinese circus with Western contemporary circus, complementing the "East-meets-West" theme implied in the title — the name is a portmanteau of "dragon" (representing the East) and "lion" (representing the West). It is Cirque du Soleil's 12th touring production and the first Cirque show since 1985 not to be directed by Franco Dragone.
- 1 Set and technical information
- 2 Characters
- 3 Acts
- 4 Costumes
- 5 Music
- 6 Tour
- 6.1 Arena tour
- 6.2 Grand Chapiteau tour
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Set and technical information
The backdrop for Dralion is a metallic structure 60 feet (18 m) in width and 26 feet (7.9 m) in height. It is covered in perforated aluminum tiles, giving it the appearance of medieval armor or a futuristic Chinese temple. Sitting atop the structure are six giant claws which allow performers to climb the wall and suspend in mid-air. Above the stage itself are three large concentric aluminum rings. The first is utilized as a catwalk; the second is used to support acrobatic equipment; and the third is used by performers to move up and down and suspend in the air.
Dralion features 50 members in its performance troupe, of which about 5 or 6 play principal characters.
- Azala (air): The goddess of air who is dressed in blue, keeper of the sun and the guardian of immortality.
- Gaya (earth): The goddess of earth, dressed in ochre.
- Océane (water): The goddess of water, dressed in green.
- Yao (fire): The god of fire, dressed in red, who is both good and evil.
- L'Âme Force: The show's singers who symbolize harmony between the four elements.
- Kala: Represents the heart of the wheel of time, making time evolve.
- Little Buddha: The chosen child who possesses powers that will eventually allow him to become an Âme-Force, but dreams of being a regular child.
- Dralions: Mythical creatures inspired by the imagery of the Chinese lion dance and dragon dance.
- Clowns: The clowns manage to push this otherwise harmonious universe slightly off-kilter.
- Single Handbalancing: A single woman balances on one hand and accomplishes a variety of poses.
- Bamboo Poles: Five acrobats twirl and throw 25-foot-long (7.6 m) bamboo poles while Yao waves a flag as the acrobats jump over it.
- Juggling: An artist performs juggling infused with breakdancing and modern dance. This act was performed by Viktor Kee but now is performed by Vladik Myagkostoupov.
- Trampoline: A group of acrobats perform on trampolines using the set's futuristic backdrop both as a diving board and landing pad.
- Dralions: Three acrobats and three Dralions perform tumbling feats and Chinese lion dance-like dance.
- Soleil Tilt: One of the singers goes up into the air while singing.
- Crossed Cyr Wheel: A cyr wheel that is infused with another cyr wheel forming a globe. The performer spins and twists this apparatus in an act that represents the circle of life and the passing of time.
- Cerceau: A single artist performs choreography using a hoop suspended in mid-air.
- Hoop Diving: Acrobats jump through a tower of hoops, which is sometimes spinning.
- Aerial pas de Deux: Azala and her male counterpart perform an aerial dance in silks.
- Skipping Ropes: A group of acrobats perform jump rope alone or together in pyramids and in towers.
- Diabolo: Artists perform tricks with diabolos trying to outperform each other.
- Contortion: A solo act featuring a very flexible performer who stays in handstands with their legs over their head.
- Contortion with Bowls, Rotation: This was a contortion act made even more precarious with the added difficulty of balancing a stack of bowls on the artists head.
- Teeterboard: An original Dralion act, it featured an all female troupe. The flyer would stand at one end of the trapeze as two performers jumped onto the opposite end, shooting the flyer up and onto a high tower of other performers.
- Ballet on Lightbulbs: An original Dralion act that was unlike anything else. A group of female artist wore ballet pointe shoes and balanced while other performers climbed onto their shoulders creating high towers of people all on a platform of light bulbs.
- Double Trapeze: An original Dralion act, two trapezes that had one bar at the bottom and another bar about a metre above it, the artists would jump or flip from the higher bar into the hands of another performer at the bottom bar.
- Foot Juggling, Rotation: An original Dralion act, this foot juggling act featured a female artist who manipulated and spun an open Chinese parasol on her feet, at one moment she would have a parasol on each foot and each hand, all spinning simultaneously.
- Balancing on Chairs, Rotation: This act had an artist stack a pile if chairs, at the top of the pile the artist performed a hand-balancing act.
- Medusa: A group of artists execute graceful and lithe movements, in the style of acrosport.
- Spirits: Four couples perform a gravity-defying ballet.
Dralion's costumes are vibrant in color; inspired by clothing from India, China, and Africa; and are shaped according to the movements of each performer's choreography. In total there are around 1500 wardrobe pieces for the show, taking into account that some artists have up to four costume changes during a single performance.
- Yao: As the symbol of fire, Yao is clad in red.
- Océane: As the goddess of water, Océane's costume is Indian inspired and green in color.
- Azala: As the goddess of air, Azala's primary color is blue. Her dress is fashioned with Asian crystal beads.
- Gaya: As the goddess of earth, Gaya's color is Ochre. Her costume is inspired by African designs.
- L'Âme Force: The texture on the front of their golden costumes is made by moulding small plastic soldiers.
- Dralions: The dralions are constructed from a mélange of items both natural and synthetic: lycra, leather, silk, mosquito netting, polystyrene foam, springs, raffia, horse hair, emu feathers, and other fabrics and decorations.
With the company's departure from its longtime creative team, Dralion features the work of a new Cirque composer, French-Canadian composer Violaine Corradi. The music of Dralion aims to be a fusion of sounds from East and West by the use of acoustic and electric instruments. Featuring rhythmic and lyrical motifs, the influences range from Indian melodies to sounds from Andalusia, Africa, Central Europe, and the West. Instruments used in the CD are drums, violin, winds, keyboards, guitar and percussion instructions. Released on November 9, 1999, Dralion’s soundtrack features the vocals of Basque counter-tenor Erik Karol, and Canadian female vocalist Agnès Sohier. The tracks for the CD are listed below, with their corresponding acts alongside in italics.
- Stella Errans (Single Handbalancing, 1999 - Present)
- Foot Juggling (Rotation, 1999 - 2010)
- Contortion with Bowls (Rotation, 1999 - 2000)
- Balancing on Chairs (Rotation, 2010 - 2012)
- Contortion (Rotation, 2012 - present)
- Spiritual Spiral (Setup to Double Trapeze, 1999 - 2010, 2014 - Present)
- Miracula Æternitatis (Spirits, 1999 - 2014)
- Bamboo (Bamboo Poles, 1999 - Present)
- Ballare (Aerial Pas de Deux, 1999 - Present)
- Ravendhi (Teeterboard, 1999 - 2005)
- Ninkou Latora
- Double Trapeze (1999 - 2010)
- Crossed Cyr Wheel (Rotation, 2012 - present)
- Aborigenes Jam (Hoop Diving, 1999 - Present)
- Hinkò (Ballet on Lightbulbs, 1999 - 2010)
- Kamandé (Skipping Rope and Finale, 1999 - Present)
- Elements (Opening, 1999 - Present)
- Ledjendia (Opening and Prelude to Skipping Rope, 1999 - 2014)
- Momma Kee (Juggling, Viktor Kee Version, 1999 - 2007)
- Vladik-Jug (Juggling - Vladik Myagkostoupov Version, 2007 - Present)
- Lanterne (Lanterns, 1999 - Present)
- Soleil Tilt (Soleil Tilt, 1999 - Present)
- Bombarde (Dralions, 1999 - Present)
- Anima (Aerial Hoop, 2001 - Present)
- Unknown Title (Trampolines, 2005 - Present)
- Unknown Title (Medusa, Rotation, 2010 - Present)
- Unknown Title (Diabolos, Rotation, 2010 - Present)
There have been quite a few amount of singers in Dralion. Here's a full list of them:
Agnès Sohier : From April 1999 (Montreal) to Fall 2004 (Madrid), From March 17, 2005 (Barcelona) to present
Laur Fugère : From April 4, 2001 to May 20, 2001 (New York city), From October 2, 2003 to December 14, 2003 (Mexico city)
Estelle Esse : From Fall 2004 (Madrid) to February 6, 2005 (London)
Érik Karol : From April 22, 1999 (Montreal) to December 2000 (Atlanta), From June 3, 2004 (Vienna) to February 06, 2005 (London), From September 8, 2005 (Zurich) to February 26, 2006 (Sevilla)
Frank Irving : From February 14, 2001 (Miami) to December 16, 2001 (Dallas)
Robert Fertitta : From March 6, 2002 (Los Angeles) to December 21, 2002 (Phoenix)
Calvin Braxton From February 6, 2003 (New Orleans) to May 23, 2004 (Amsterdam), From March 17, 2005 (Barcelona) to August 28, 2005 (Oostende), From March 10, 2006 (Geneva) to August, 2008 (Syndney) *
Cristian Zabala 2007 - 2008 *, From October 21, 2010 (Trenton) to June 09, 2013 (Guatemala city)
Chad Oliver From July 16, 2008 (Sydney) to January 17, 2010 (Mexico)
Josue Anuar From July 9, 2013 (Amnéville) to September 6, 2014 ( Palma de Mallorca)
* : During the 2007-2008 Japan tour, Calvin Braxton and Cristian Zabala alternated the role.
The following colorboxes indicate the region of each performance:Europe North America South and Central America Asia/Pacific Oceania Africa
Grand Chapiteau tour
- Cirque du Soleil - About Dralion
- "Presskit Dralion Sept 2010" (PDF). Cirque du Soleil (Press Kit). Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Dralion - Acts". Cirque du Soleil (Press Material). Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- Clément, Ronald (2009). Cirque du Soleil 25 Years of Costumes (in CN, EN, FR, JP). Canada: Dépôt légal, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. pp. 62–67. ISBN 978-2-9803493-4-8.
- "Acrobats defy gravity in Cirque du Soleil's 'Dralion'". Des Moines Register. 2011-03-28. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
- Cirque du Soleil - Creators of Dralion
- "Music - Dralion". Cirque Tribune. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "Dralion Schedule". Cirque Tribune. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
- "Dralion Tickets and Info". Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 2011-04-14.