Dralion™ is a signature Cirque du Soleil ® production acclaimed by more than seven million people worldwide since it premiered in 1999 in Montreal, Canada. After many years performing under the big top, Dralion will now be presented in arenas around the world, with the same quality performance. Fusing the 3,000 year-old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts with the multidisciplinary approach of Cirque du Soleil, Dralion draws its inspiration from Eastern philosophy and its neverending quest for harmony between humans and nature. The show’s name is derived from its two emblematic creatures: the dragon, symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West. In Dralion, the four elements that govern the natural order take on a human form. Thus embodied, each element is represented by its own evocative colour: air is blue; water is green; fire is red; earth is ochre. In the world of Dralion, cultures blend, Man and Nature are one, and balance is achieved. Bearing the unmistakable signature of Cirque du Soleil and featuring 50 international acrobats, gymnasts, musicians and singers, Dralion soars to new heights as it defies the laws of nature.
Aerial Hoop Aerial Pas de Deux Bamboo Poles
An awe-inspiring creation of strength and agility, this exotic aerial ballet captures the passion and energy of its signature element, ﬁre. Suspended from a hoop high above the stage, the artist presents an evocative choreography in which the hoop and body become one in a dance of acrobatic precision.
Pas de deux is a languorous aerial dance. An intertwined couple flies over the stage in a long band of blue cloth. Within the cloth, they perform various acrobatic ﬁgures that demand great feats of strength and flexibility.
In Bamboo Poles, six men balance long decorative poles symbolizing ﬁre. A traditional act of the Chinese acrobatic arts, the performers keep the poles ‘in flight’ overhead while performing acrobatic feats on the ground.
A blend of the traditional Chinese dragon and lion dances takes on new scope when reimagined by Cirque du Soleil. In a dynamic and energetic tumbling sequence, the artists perform acrobatic moves while balancing on large wooden balls as the dralion characters surround them with a spirited dance.
This act requires great strength and flexibility. Displaying impressive control, the artist balances on canes of various heights, slowly executing a series of astounding ﬁgures while maintaining a delicate equilibrium.
Derived from Chinese acrobatic tradition, the Hoop Diving act takes on a tribal flavor from the African-influenced music to which it is performed. Ten male artists dive and throw themselves like arrows through small wooden hoops. The hoops are stacked on top of each other; some are stationary while others rotate.
With stylized choreography that makes the most of his incredible flexibility, the artist incorporates a fast-paced performance with hints of modern dance. His incredible precision and mastery of his art are evident as he juggles up to seven balls simultaneously.
The artists execute graceful and lithe movements which emphasize their extreme flexibility and balance. Together, they create extraordinary and harmonious ﬁgures.
A children’s game familiar to everyone, the skipping rope takes on a new dimension in Dralion with a heightened level of acrobatic prowess. As the artists keep time with the long skipping ropes, they perform flips, make pyramids and even form a human column.
Crossed wheel (Act in rotation)
Diabolo (Act in rotation)
Defying the laws of gravity, fearless aerialists bounce off trampolines using the futuristic backdrop both as a diving board and landing pad. They cascade perilously through the air performing spectacular stunts at a dizzying pace.
In the Crossed Wheel act, the artist and the wheel become one. He has mastered this unique acrobatic apparatus, turning, spinning and maneuvering the wheel while performing gravity-defying acrobatics
The diabolo, or Chinese yo-yo, is a children’s game which involves holding two sticks linked by a string while sliding, juggling and tossing a wooden spool. With increasingly difﬁcult maneuvers, the artists attempt to outdo each other in dexterity and ingenuity.
Contorsion (Act in rotation)
En attente d’une photo
Carried across time and distance the beautiful contortionist performs for L’Ame Force, demonstrating her amazing strength and super human flexibility.
AZALA (Air) GAYA (Earth) OCEANE (Water)
Azala is the goddess of Air. She is the guardian of the sun and immortality, floating above timeless space in hues of blue.
Gaya is the goddess of Earth. She possesses within her human warmth (ﬁre) and the cool, fresh vitality of life (water). She adorns herself in ochre.
Oceane is the goddess of Water. As queen of movement she controls, through the art of dance, the movement of the oceans. Her universe is green.
The guide to the ﬁery demons; Yao commands the rhythm of the show. He symbolizes both good and evil. He sees life in vivid red.
KALA is the heart of the wheel that represents time and the inﬁnite cycle. He is the internal propulsion of the wheel that makes time evolve. It is the ongoing circle of life.
The Little Buddha is the chosen child. Although it possesses special powers that will allow it to eventually become an Âme-Force, it dreams of being just a regular child.
Costumes & Make-up
The primary sources of inspiration for the costumes of Dralion come from China, India and Africa. The palette favors vibrant solid colors, while the shapes are guided by the artists’ movements and choreography. Each of the four elements and its associated family are represented by their own unique color. Blue is identified with air, green symbolizes water, red is for fire, and ochre represents the earth.
• All the original costumes were designed and built in Montreal
by the Costume Workshop team, over several months back in 1999 at the birth of the show.
• The costumes often evolve over the lifetime of a show and
new designs are sometimes added. For example our Skipping and Dralion costumes where redesigned when the show made the move to arena
• Over 5,000 meters (16 000 feet) of fabric was used in creating
the original costumes and 1000’s more each year as costumes are replaced and renewed
• The fabrics come from all corners of the globe, including
China, the United States, Italy, France, England, Australia and Quebec.
• Much of the fabric on the show started life cream and was
hand painted or hand dyed in Montreal making some of the costumes unique and one off. For example our Hoop diving costumes.
• Often unusual materials are used in creating costumes
and accessories, for example horse hair, colored raffia, metal & plastic springs, faux fur and even cable ties.
• Each item of costume is made to measure for an artist,
starting with over an hour long process of body measurements, matching skin tones and creating a 3D cast of their head, on which their hats and headpieces are built.
• One costume look can be made up of between 3 to
8 individual items.
• There are over 3000 costume items made up of shoes, hats,
accessories and costume pieces.
• The wardrobe team is made up of 4 permanent Cirque
employees who tour with the show and at each city 3 local wardrobe staff joins to help with the set up, laundry and daily running of the show.
• The team travel with 7 washing machines, 3 dryers, 24 rolling
racks and 12 fans. Most costumes can be machine washed with upwards of 26 loads of washing being done at the start of a city and upwards of 9 loads during and after a show. Some of the more delicate items have to be hand washed. All costumes are hung over night on the rolling racks in front of fans too dry.
• The team travels 58 road cases just for the wardrobe
department. 12 of those are full of costumes worn in the show and 7 are filled will back-up, replacement and stock costumes. The rest is laundry supplies, sewing kits, spare fabric, back-up shoes, make-up, cutting table and back-up hats.
• The costumes are checked every day for damage and
repaired for that day’s performance.
• Over 300 pairs of shoes are painted and repaired at the
start of a city, making sure they are safe and show ready.
• There are over 19 different types of shoelaces on the show. • Its takes over an hour to set the Little Buddha wig each
week and an extra hour to style it.
• It takes wardrobe a day and a half to set up from scratch
in a new city and be ready for the first show but only a few hours to pack it away.
• All artists do their own make-up. They can be in training
for 16 hours to learn their personally designed make-up. Each artist’s tools are different but some can use 25 brushes, 10 different colors and take 60 minutes to apply their make-up to be show ready.
Blending Eastern and Western sounds to create rhythmic and lyrical motifs, the electric and acoustic Dralion score draws its inspiration from classic Indian melodies, weaving in influences from Andalusia, Africa as well as Central and Western Europe. The band is composed of six musicians and two singers who perform live for every performance. Three concentric aluminum rings are suspended high above the stage. The first serves as a catwalk for performers and technicians. The second is used to support technical and acrobatic equipment, including the enormous lantern that descends at the end of the first half of the show. The third ring is used to move performers up, down and through the world of Dralion.
A mammoth structure creates the huge backdrop that dominates the stage. This metallic set piece is 60 feet wide and 26 feet tall and is suggestive of a futuristic Chinese temple or a giant plate of medieval armor. The most imposing feature is the wall which spans the full length of the stage. Covered with perforated aluminum tiles, the wall is strong and resilient while giving the impression of being light and flexible. The six giant claws attached to the structure allow artists to climb and suspend themselves from the wall.
Creators original design
Guide and Founder
Director of Creation
Composer and Musical Director
Original sound designer
General Artistic Director
Lin Yung Biau
Production Manager / Arena Shows
Cirque du Soleil at a Glance
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from close to 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents. Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters are in Montreal, Canada. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com
The mission of Cirque du Soleil is to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world.
the creation of Cirque du Soleil
It all started in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town near Québec City in Canada. There, in the early eighties, a band of colourful characters roamed the streets, striding on stilts, juggling, dancing, breathing fire, and playing music. They were Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (the Baie-Saint-Paul Stiltwalkers), a street theatre group founded by Gilles Ste-Croix. Already, the townsfolk were impressed and intrigued by the young performers – including Guy Laliberté who founded Cirque du Soleil. The troupe went on to found Le Club des talons hauts (the High Heels Club), and then, in 1982, organized La Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul, a cultural event in which street performers from all over met to exchange ideas and enliven the streets of the town for a few days. La Fête foraine was repeated in 1983 and 1984. Le Club des talons hauts attracted notice, and Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix and their cronies began to cherish a crazy dream: to create a Québec circus and take the troupe travelling around the world. In 1984, Québec City was celebrating the 450th anniversary of Canada’s discovery by Jacques Cartier, and they needed a show that would carry the festivities out across the province. Guy Laliberté presented a proposal for a show called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun), and succeeded in convincing the organizers. And Cirque du Soleil hasn’t stopped since!
a FEW StatIStICS
• In 1984, 73 people worked for Cirque du Soleil. Today,
the business has 5,000 employees worldwide, including more than 1,300 artists.
• At the Montréal International Headquarters alone,
there are close to 2,000 employees.
• More than 100 types of occupations can be found
• The company’s employees and artists represent close
to 50 nationalities and speak 25 different languages.
• More than 100 million spectators have seen a
Cirque du Soleil show since 1984.
• Close to 15 million people will see a Cirque du Soleil
show in 2013.
• Cirque du Soleil hasn’t received any grants from
the public or private sectors since 1992.
TOURING SHOWS IN ARENAS
In 2013, Cirque du Soleil will present 19 different shows around the world:
TOURING SHOWS UNDER THE BIG TOP
Treasure Island in Las Vegas
Bellagio in Las Vegas
New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas
Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Florida
MGM Grand in Las Vegas
The Mirage in Las Vegas
Luxor in Las Vegas
ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter in Las Vegas
MJ ONE at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
Cirque du Soleil, Sun Logo, Alegría, Dralion, Quidam, Varekai, Corteo, KOOZA, OVO, TOTEM, Amaluna, Mystère, “O”, Zumanity – the Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba, KÀ, Zarkana, are trademarks owned by Cirque du Soleil and used under license. The trademark LOVE is owned by The Cirque Apple Creation Partnership and used under license. The Beatles is a trademark owned by Apple Corps Limited. The trademarks CRISS ANGEL and Believe are owned by Criss Angel and used under license. Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour is a trademark owned by Cirque Jackson I.P., LLC. Trademarks used under license. The Michael Jackson name, image, likeness and associated trademarks and logos are owned by Triumph International, Inc. and used under license. © 2010 Cirque Jackson I.P., LLC.
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