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Performing Arts

Cirque du ooh-la-la

It’s not your average circus experience.

Stephie Gregory December 19th, 2012

Cirque du Soleil: Dralion
7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 3:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday 
Chesapeake Energy Arena
100 W. Reno

The word “Dralion” is a blending of two symbolic creatures: the dragon, representing the East, and the lion, representing the West.

The story of Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion, now in the metro through Sunday, depicts a powerful message of unity, as Eastern and Western cultures discover their similarities and unite through the four elements that support human life: earth, fire, air and water. Each element is represented by a color, and each performer proudly displays his or her color, along with unbelievable acrobatic talents.

The inspired show aims to portray balance between nature and humanity.

Cirque du Soleil began 32 years ago in Canada, combining street entertainment with theatrical performance.

After its debut performance in 1980, the troupe has presented astonishing shows worldwide ever since.

“Cirque du Soleil is real people doing unreal things,” said Sean McKeown, Dralion artistic director.

With Cirque du Soleil since 2001, the native Australian has been working on Dralion for two years.

“There is a lot of ‘wow’ in this show,” McKeown said. “It is a show with many acrobatic numbers and dramatic scenes. It is a remarkable demonstration of the talent of our performers.”

The troupe consists of 64 performers, including musicians, singers, dancers, clowns, acrobats and aerialists.

“I cannot tell you how proud I am to be a part of this practice,” said Yin Yupeng, an acrobat from China whose Dralion duties include diving, tumbling, rope-skipping and climbing 10-foot bamboo poles.

Marina Vorobyeva, a trampolinist from St. Petersburg, Russia, looks forward to this week’s performances.

“My favorite part [is] experiencing the people’s response to the talent in the show,” said Vorobyeva, who represents the element of water. “It is so much fun to perform and give a special gift to the audience.”

Dralion speaks to audiences of all languages and nationalities. Its fusion of dance and circus techniques from diverse world cultures celebrates the global community.

“It is amazing to be part of a show that represents communication and unity between Eastern and Western people,” said Yin. “We can all learn so much from each other.”

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