Half dragon, half lion, with the dragon symbolizing the mysterious east and the lion representing the powerful west, welcome to DRALION, a signature show by the spectacular Cirque du Soleil.
A little over a quarter of a century ago, Cirque du Soleil was a ragtag collection of street performers in a small town near Quebec, Canada, twenty young people on stilts, juggling, dancing, playing music, breathing fire. Who could have predicted that this small troupe could grow into an organization of 5000 worldwide, including over 1300 artists from 50 nations, attracting 100 million spectators since 1984 to it 22 signature shows.
To be one of the estimated 15 million children and adults who will see a Cirque show this year, make plans now to go to Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena from Wednesday, June 13 to Sunday, June 17 to experience DRALION.
Begin by imagining the three thousand year old tradition of Chinese acrobatics as a harmony achieved by combining the elements that battle for dominance. Meet the blue element of air, the green of water, the red of fire and the ochre that stands for earth. Embodied in human form, they will be represented by singers, musicians, acrobats and gymnasts who will defy nature and expose their international talents and skills, all the while striving for a balance and unity.
Be prepared to be dazzled by acts of strength, dexterity and agility from artful aerial dancers high in the sky and then from a sextet of men balancing on bamboo poles, at once on the ground and seconds later in flight. The flavor of Africa will be seen as a troupe of ten acrobats dive end-over-end through rotating and stationary hoops.
Trampolines become the springboards for improbable feats of flight while chairs are the starting point for a balancing act that towers skyward. Spinning Chinese yo-yos are maneuvered with dexterity while another children’s game, jumping rope, defies imagination in its daring feats.
Meet Azala, the goddess of air who guards the sun and stands for immortality, in stunning shades of blue, and the fiery demon Yao as fire, representing both all that is good and all that is evil in blinding red tones. Contrast them with the shimmering emerald jewels of Oceana as water in her universe of green with the basic colors of Gaya, the rich ochre goddess of the earth. Add to them the chosen child, the Little Buddha, whose special powers are undesired in her quest to be a normal child and Kala, the timeless cycle of life, a circle, a continuum that represents infinity.
For tickets ($28-168.85), call Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, 600 Main Street, Bridgeport at 800-745-3000 or online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/dralion/tickets.aspx. Performances are Wednesday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 16 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 17 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
With colorful costumes inspired by India, Africa and China, a blending of music and rhythms from the west and the east, a set that suggests a Chinese temple of the future or a giant armored plate from medieval times, DRALION will feature a cast of fifty performers soaring in indescribable feats of balance and precision, led by the magnificent Chinese dragon and lion that will dance dramatically to introduce all the magic and mystery.