In November, Youth Ballet and Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan presented a performance called East Meets West that blended traditional Indian Kathak dance with classical ballet and contemporary dance.
“East Meets West” is a good way to describe the Cirque de Soleil production Dralion which hits town Wednesday, Dec. 10 for a five-day run. The title is a portmanteau of “dragon” (symbolizing China, and the East in general) and “lion” (which is an old British Imperial symbol, and represents the West). Cirque de Soleil debuted Dralion in 1999, and as you might expect from the title, it offers a mix of traditional Chinese and contemporary Western circus acts.
I’m no expert on Cirque de Soleil, but I did some research and discovered that Dralion was a bit of a milestone show. It was the company’s 12th touring production, and the first since 1985 not to be directed by Franco Dragone. Instead, Guy Caron helmed the project.
The set is apparently designed like a futuristic castle/temple, with huge claws that the performers can climb to reach and then hang from to perform acrobatics and other feats of derring-do. Throw in a 1500-costume wardrobe, and a fusiony musical score by French Canadian composer Violane Corradi, and Dralion promises plenty of arty circus thrills.
Dralion will be performed at Brandt Centre Dec. 10-12 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 13 at 4 and 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 14 at 1:30 and 5 p.m. Tickets are $57-$160, and can be obtained from the Brandt Centre website. To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s the Cirque de Soleil trailer: