Cirque du Soleil: A mindblowing experience

2013-03-07 09:50
Throughout the ages, the circus has evolved with the times.

From what most of us remember, when we think back to travelling acts, we conjure up images of candy floss, popcorn, trapeze artists, clowns, elephants, lions and various other acts that had us mesmerised for hours as children.

Yet, time doesn't stand still, and just as everything is in a state of constant evolution, so the circus too has evolved.

I can remember seeing my first Cirque performance on TV some time ago. Though it was on a television set, I found myself being blown away by the wonder of their acts and performances. The costumes, set and skilled acts were beyond the circus shows I use to see as a child.

This was the dawn of a new circus - one that has stayed in touch with the times, without losing its mysticism, breathtaking costumes and nail biting acts.

Many moons later, Big Concerts announced that Cirque du Soleil would be heading to our shores. I had a mini-freak out session and soon afterwards I was determined to see the show, live this time.

Dragons and Lions

Dralion was on its way to our shores.

A theme fused with Chinese culture, Dralion brings together symbolic elements from the East and the West: one of them being the famous symbol from the east, the dragon, and the lion from the west. This already set the show up to be a spectacular filled with dances, stunts and performances infused with rich Chinese culture.

I was a bit sceptical when I heard that performances will be held at the Grand Arena in Grand West, but when I walked into the arena on the opening night, I was blown away by the design of the set. All scepticism disappeared quickly.

Much in the spirit of Lady Gaga's epic Born This Way Ball set, the set for Cirque du Soleil was made to entertain and amaze.

From a rig up in the roof to plunge dancers down in various manoeuvres to a steel castle built to withstand the raw power of acrobats - every inch of the set had me in awe (and the show hadn't even started yet).

While concertgoers were taking their seats, the Cirque Clowns went about entertaining the crowd with their willy-nilly stunts that had many in stitches. Involving the audience during their performance brought a whole new level to the show - something I have to applaud.

Unique stories

From its enthralling opening to each act that followed, every performance from the circus troupe had its own unique story to tell. Every nail-biting jump, dive and plunge had you on the edge of your seat wanting more.

In true Cirque style, every act went on to improve on the one before it, building up to a climax and an epic finale that had the crowd roaring.

One really comes to appreciate the hours of exercise and dress rehearsals when you look at the skill each performer possesses.  The brute strength seen in every daring stunt had my jaw dropping to the floor, but also a little smirk of appreciation (because face it - we would never be able to jump almost two metres into the air and come back down safely onto a trampoline).

Pure fantasy

Bringing every character to life, the costumes and make-up added another magical element to the show. Bright colours along with textures and patterns made it seem like there weren’t any humans on stage, but in fact a group of characters from a fantasy movie.

Dralion serves a variation from other famous Cirque shows – it offers concertgoers a once in a lifetime experience, a feast for the eyes and ears and most certainly an entertaining evening out.

Circuses were originally created to entertain crowds – and Cirque du Soleil's Dralion went above and beyond to entertain its crowd, offering a breathtaking appreciation for the fusion of history, arts, acrobatics and music.

Were there any faults during the show that I could hammer on?! None that I would know of. A brilliantly executed show - something many South Africans have not witnessed before.

At the end of the show I could truly walk away and say the ticket prices really justify the show that was presented.

The fact of the matter is: You should see Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion once in your life.

It was everything I dreamed it would be and a whole lot more.

Cirque du Soleil's Dralion will still be showing at Grand West in Cape Town till 17 March and from 21 to 30 March at The Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg. Tickets are still available via Computicket.

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