The Cirque du Soliel is bringing its newest show to Iowa over the next few weeks. After a three-year absence, the performing troupe based in Canada is calling this version, Dralion, a combination of dragon and lion, as Eastern culture meets the West.
Cirque spokeswoman Julie Desmarais says this type of circus involves no animals, only very talented humans. “You’ll see ten acrobatic acts,” Desmarais says, including one using horizontal and vertical trampolines. “People jump literally on a 26-foot-high wall. You’ll see some hoop diving where our acrobats just dive like arrows into little tiny hoops. We have hand-balancing, contortion, something very different and exciting.”
She says Dralion is the fusion of ancient Chinese circus traditions and the avant-garde style of this company. “We have 52 artists, world-class performers from 14 countries,” Desmarais says. “We have an amazing troop from China which performs some of the most ancient Chinese acrobatics.” There are also gymnasts, musicians, singers and comedic characters. She says the storyline derives much of its inspiration from Eastern philosophy and its perpetual quest for harmony between people and nature.
One act features a giant human pyramid putting a spellbinding spin on the familiar childhood pasttime of jumping rope. “This is our finale, our skipping rope,” Desmarais says. “Our 13 Chinese acrobats actually jump and they do all sorts of acrobatics to the skipping rope. It’s a new way of seeing skipping.”
Cirque du Soliel opens an eight-show run at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Wednesday. The tour is also visiting: Sioux City opening on April 9th, Council Bluffs starting on April 13th and Moline, Illinois, opening on April 19th. For more information, visit: www.cirquedusoleil.com/dralion.