The venue was contrary to the signature big top tent that usually signifies to bystanders that "magic" has arrived to town. But that didn't stop fans of the acrobatic mainstay from filing into the Target Center for a large bite of entertainment. The show was greeted by yearning fans and insurmountable energy that translated into nightly performances dipped in fortune, leaving all who were privy with a priceless experience.
"Dralion," which is one of Cirque's original touring productions, is an East meets West fairytale with its combination of traditional Chinese circus tricks coupled alongside Western contemporary circus maneuvers. The show encompasses Chinese mythology and spiritual depth with characters Yao (fire), Gaya (earth), Oceane (water) and Azala (air) as well as Little Buddha and of course the many dralions, which are mythical hybrid dragon and lion creatures.
Although the show is rich in its Asian inspired roots, the cast of over 50 characters is inclusive of a multicultural array of faces that together put forth a show that can speak to anyone in any language. Through the language of dance and acrobatic prowess, "Dralion" speaks a language all its own.
"When I'm on stage, I'm more comfortable, because dance is the language that I have to show to people," said African actress Dioman Gbou. "I am the African dancer in the show, 'Gaya the Earth Element.' When I'm on stage I want people to know who I am, what I'm doing and which role I'm doing on stage. The communication is with my dance, with my movement, and what I'm sharing with all the rest of the elements."
Gbou was last here as a performer in the late 1990s with "Dralion." During her stay she developed a sheer warmth and fondness for Minneapolis and its welcoming community. Gbou was so fond of the area, she later returned to the Twin Cities to buy a house and start a life here.
For me, stand out acts in this production were Aerial Pas De Deux, a performance where a young couple take their love airborne – as one, they defy gravity and overthrow fear while intertwined in silk ropes which perfectly illustrate the soft and sensual coils perusing their love, Spirits, an aerial ballet performed by four couples, and Dralions, a magnificent blend of Chinese acrobats and dralions performing incredible stunts and eye catching feats.
Cirque du Soleil's "Dralion" is a production that will capture your heart. If you didn't get a chance to witness the magic this time, make sure you're in the building the next time this beautiful show comes back to town.