Dralion

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Dralion
Company Cirque du Soleil
Genre Contemporary circus
Show type Touring arena show
Date of premiere April 22, 1999
Creative team
Director Guy Caron
Director of creation Gilles Ste-Croix
Set designer Stéphane Roy
Composer Violaine Corradi
Costume designer François Barbeau
Clown act designer Michel Dallaire
Lighting designer Luc Lafortune
Choreographer Julie Lachance
Sound designer Guy Desrochers
General artistic director Sylvie Galarneau
Company founder and CEO Guy Laliberté
Other information
Preceded by La Nouba (1998)
Succeeded by Varekai (2002)
Official website

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[edit]

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.[2]

Characters[edit]

Dralion features 50 members in its performance troupe, of which about 5 or 6 play principal characters.[2]

  • 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.

Acts[edit]

The acts of Dralion combine unique western and eastern acrobatic skills.[2][3]

  • 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.
  • Medusa: A group of artists execute graceful and lithe movements, in the style of acrosport.
  • Cerceau: A single artist performs choreography using a hoop suspended in mid-air.
  • Soleil Tilt: One of the singers goes up into the air while singing.
  • Spirits: Four couples perform a gravity-defying ballet.
  • Aerial pas de Deux: Azala and her male counterpart perform an aerial dance in silks.
  • Hoop Diving: Acrobats jump through a tower of hoops, which is sometimes spinning.
  • Skipping Ropes: A group of acrobats perform jump rope alone or together in pyramids and in towers.

Rotation acts[edit]

  • 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.
  • 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.

Retired acts[edit]

  • 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.

Costumes[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5]

  • 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.

Music[edit]

With the company's departure from its longtime creative team, Dralion features the work of a new Cirque composer, French-Canadian composer Violaine Corradi.[6] 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.[7]

The original album artwork of Dralion by Heidi Taillefer, 1999

Track listing

  1. Stella Errans (Single Handbalancing, 1999 - Present)
  2. Ombra
    • Foot Juggling (Rotation, 1999 - 2010)
    • Contortion with Bowls (Rotation, 1999 - 2000)
    • Balancing on Chairs (Rotation, 2010 - 2012)
    • Contortion (Rotation, 2012 - present)
  3. Spiritual Spiral (Setup to Double Trapeze, 1999 - 2010)
  4. Miracula Æternitatis (Spirits, 1999 - Present)
  5. Bamboo (Bamboo Poles, 1999 - Present)
  6. Ballare (Aerial Pas de Deux, 1999 - Present)
  7. Ravendhi (Teeterboard, 1999 - 2005)
  8. Ninkou Latora
    • Double Trapeze (1999 - 2010)
    • Crossed Cyr Wheel (Rotation, 2012 - present)
  9. Aborigenes Jam (Hoop Diving, 1999 - Present)
  10. Hinkò (Ballet on Lightbulbs, 1999 - 2010)
  11. Kamandé (Skipping Rope and Finale, 1999 - Present)

Other songs

  1. Elements (Opening, 1999 - Present)
  2. Ledjendia (Opening and Prelude to Skipping Rope, 1999 - Present)
  3. Momma Kee (Juggling, Viktor Kee Version, 1999 - 2007)
  4. Vladik-Jug (Juggling - Vladik Myagkostoupov Version, 2007 - Present)
  5. Lanterne (Lanterns, 1999 - Present)
  6. Soleil Tilt (Soleil Tilt, 1999 - Present)
  7. Bombarde (Dralions, 1999 - Present)
  8. Anima (Aerial Hoop, 2001 - Present)
  9. Unknown Title (Trampolines, 2005 - Present)
  10. Unknown Title (Medusa, Rotation, 2010 - Present)
  11. Unknown Title (Diabolos, Rotation, 2010 - Present)

Vocalists[edit]

There have been quite a few amount of singers in Dralion. Here's a full list of them:

Female Singers:

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)

Male Singers:

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 present

* : During the 2007-2008 Japan tour, Calvin Braxton and Christian Zabala alternated the role.

Further information: Cirque du Soleil discography

Tour[edit]

Dralion started out as a touring show in 1999 traveling under the grand chapiteau, but was converted in 2010 to a format suitable for arenas.[8][9]

The following colorboxes indicate the region of each performance:   EU   Europe   NA   North America   SA   South and Central America   AP   Asia/Pacific   OC   Oceania   AF   Africa

Arena tour[edit]

2014 schedule[edit]

  •   EU   Lisbon, PT - From 1 Jan 2014 to 12 Jan 2014
  •   EU   St-Petersburg, RU - From 22 Jan 2014 to 2 Feb 2014
  •   EU   Chelyabinsk, RU - From 7 Feb 2014 to 16 Feb 2014
  •   EU   Kazan, RU - From 21 Feb 2014 to 2 March 2014
  •   EU   Moscow, RU - From 6 Mar 2014 to 16 Mar 2014
  •   EU   Minsk, BY - From 20 Mar 2014 to 23 Mar 2014
  •   EU   Herning, DK - From 27 Mar 2014 to 30 Mar 2014
  •   EU   Wroclaw, PL - From 3 Apr 2014 to 6 Apr 2014
  •   EU   Malmö, SE - From 1 May 2014 to 4 May 2014
  •   EU   Glasgow, UK - From 8 May 2014 to 11 May 2014
  •   EU   Sheffield, UK - From 14 May 2014 to 18 May 2014
  •   EU   Birmingham, UK - From 22 May 2014 to 25 May 2014
  •   EU   Dublin, IE - From 28 May 2014 to 1 Jun 2014
  •   EU   London, UK - From 4 Jun 2014 to 8 Jun 2014
  •   EU   Manchester, UK - From 11 Jun 2014 to 15 Jun 2014
  •   EU   San Sebastian, ES - From 3 Jul 2014 to 6 Jul 2014
  •   EU   Santiago de Compostela, ES - From 10 Jul 2014 to 20 Jul 2014
  •   EU   Granada, ES - From 23 Jul 2014 to 27 Jul 2014
  •   EU   Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, ES - From 2 Aug 2014 to 10 Aug 2014
  •   EU   Bilbao, ES - From 16 Aug 2014 to 24 Aug 2014
  •   EU   Palma de Mallorca, ES - From 28 Aug 2014 to 6 Sep 2014
  •   NA   Albany, NY - From 2 Oct 2014 to 5 Oct 2014
  •   NA   State College, PA - 8 Oct 2014 to 12 Oct 2014
  •   NA   Wilkes-Barre, PA - From 15 Oct 2014 to 19 Oct 2014
  •   NA   Charlottesville, VA - From 22 Oct 2014 to 26 Oct 2014
  •   NA   Sault Ste Marie, ON - From 29 Oct 2014 to 2 Nov 2014
  •   NA   Fort Wayne, IN - From 5 Nov 2014 to 9 Nov 2014
  •   NA   Bloomington, IL - From 12 Nov 2014 to 16 Dec 2014
  •   NA   Cedar Rapids, IA - From 19 Nov 2014 to 23 Nov 2014
  •   NA   Duluth, MN - From 26 Nov 2014 to 30 Nov 2014
  •   NA   Kamloops, BC - From 24 Dec 2014 to 28 Dec 2014
  •   NA   Prince George, BC - From 31 Dec 2014 to 4 Jan 2015

2015 schedule[edit]

  •   NA   Anchorage, AK - From ? January 2014 to January 18 2015 (final performance)

Grand Chapiteau tour[edit]

1999 schedule[edit]

  •   NA   Montréal, QC - From 22 Apr 1999 (show première)
  •   NA   Québec, QC - From 24 Jun 1999
  •   NA   Toronto, ON - From 29 Jul 1999 to 5 Sep 1999
  •   NA   Santa Monica, CA - From 23 Sep 1999 to 21 Nov 1999
  •   NA   Irvine, CA - From 2 Dec 1999

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cirque du Soleil - About Dralion
  2. ^ a b c "Presskit Dralion Sept 2010" (PDF). Cirque du Soleil (Press Kit). Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Dralion - Acts". Cirque du Soleil (Press Material). Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "Acrobats defy gravity in Cirque du Soleil's 'Dralion'". Des Moines Register. 2011-03-28. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  6. ^ Cirque du Soleil - Creators of Dralion
  7. ^ "Music - Dralion". Cirque Tribune. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  8. ^ "Dralion Schedule". Cirque Tribune. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  9. ^ "Dralion Tickets and Info". Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 

External links[edit]