“Dralion” a Delight

I never knew there were Cirque Du Soleil groupies.
Me? I’m a newbie. Until Cirque’s current run here in Chicago, I had yet to attend a performance. But apparently, the people sitting next to me had, and their hoots and hollers have me thinking the current tour, “Dralion,” is one of their favorites.

Running nearly 2 hours with a 20-minute intermission, the show starts off quietly with three clowns working their way through the audience. Even non-clown fans will find themselves chuckling at their antics, and it’s a nice piece of comedic theater, especially when they taunt an “audience member” for several minutes.

“Dralion” includes a wide variety of acrobatic arts, such as twirling aerialists, hoop diving, jump roping and my personal favorite, Kala on the cross wheel. Its theme centers on a fusion of East and West, with dragons—“Dralions”— serving as the show mascot. The costumed dancers do such a good job that it’s easy to forget you are watching humans and not animals. And it’s even easier to forget how tough it is to pull off the acrobatic moves they do—just try putting someone on your shoulders and then walking on top of a large ball.

I’m not sure how a show can seem both family friendly and really sensual, but Cirque Du Soleil pulls it off—well. It’s artistic and athletic, and a visual feast.

Overall? A fantastic show, but take that with a grain of salt—I don’t have any particular frame of reference outside of Cirque Shanghai at Navy Pier.  So if you’re a “been there, done that” kind of person, you might not share my enthusiasm. Except for Kala. Yowza.

“Dralion” is playing at the Allstate Arena through June 24 and at the United Center June 27 – July 1. Tickets start at $75. To purchase, visit http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/dralion/tickets.aspx