by John de Dios
In a word: breathtaking.
Cirque du Soleil's Dralion, a traveling whiz-bang spectacle captivates and mesmerizes it's audiences with a rich melding of Chinese traditional performances and Cirque's trademark Avant-garde style of acrobatics.
The slightly over two-hour event is a harmonious blend of rich color, texture and a powerful expression of music and song.
Gezile Daka, 24, a local, attended the show with her boyfriend Jhonas Rubalcava, 26. Both have seen Cirque in Las Vegas and were a bit skeptical when they saw that Cirque was traveling to Tucson, they said. But after the first hour before intermission, both Daka and Rubalcava were already blown away what the show had to offer, they added.
And rightfully so: Dralion's 54 performers from 17 nations take the stage unflinchingly diving through hoops, suspended in the air by silk, or spinning in a unique and innovative "Crossed Wheel" contraption made specifically for Cirque by gymnast and performer Jonathan Morin. Morin, himself a sight to see, spins perpendicular or parallel to the ground effortlessly with such grace that he seems to fly across the stage. Then again, it probably helps that he is also built like a comic book superhero.
"It was pretty magnificent," said Georgina Hillman, 33, who brought her son Ben Cañeda, 11, with for his birthday. "(We were having) one of those superhero conversations where if you could have one superpower, poof, you have all the talent it takes to put on a show like (Dralion)."
During the performance, you can see people around us literally cringing and biting their teeth about some of the things they were doing, Hillman said.
"They harmonized really well together," Hillman said about the music and the singing used throughout the show and acrobatics. "It just made me happy."
The show is about harmony, peace and family, said Sean McKeown, the artistic director.
It's the perfect show to bring the family together, Rubalcava said.
Go see it. Consider it an effective and worthy counter programming to all the Black Friday craziness that begins, at some places, as early as 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night.
Cirque du Soleil at Tucson Convention Center Arena
Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m through Sunday, Nov. 25
Showtimes at 7:30 except for Nov. 24, 3:30 & 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 25, 1 & 5 p.m.
Read the preview for the show written by editorial intern Mariana Dale here.
Visit Dralion's website here.
More photos after the jump.