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Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion – A review

By johnboy - 25 October 2008 43

Local media and politicians were showered with double passes to tonight’s opening of the new Cirque Du Soleil show (Dralion) running on the southern shore of Lake Burley Griffin until 16 November.

With the face value of each ticket running at $270 this was a substantial gift.

RiotACT was not a lucky recipient of the largesse. But we have friends, and I thus got taken along for the ride.

Canberra star spotting is a dismal business. But the Wright family were in attendance, as were the Seselja’s (Zed on his mobile during the interval), Katy Gallagher was deep in conversation with Virginia Haussegger on the way out (one assumes with ABC rules that Virginia had not taken a comp), Megan Doherty from the Canberra Times was sighted, as was Jorian Gardner from CityNews, and Alby Schultz’s grand children were fidgeting next to Alby in the row in front of me. I refrained from calling him a big wuss over the firing squad thing and will regret it for some time. There might have been others, but that’s what I saw.

The show itself was a bit like the opening of an Olympic Games. Lots of empty hokey symbolism without much plot or character. The music was a grab bag of shallow faux-world arrangements. In parts it descended into Eurovision kitsch.

And yet it was absolutely astounding.

If it seems to drag in parts it’s only building to some terrifying crescendo. The sweeping aerials and acrobatics were timed perfectly with the music and the lighting to take the breath away.

The portion where a merely adequate juggler set the scene for the juggling of humans off trampolines was simply astounding.

So a big two thumbs up from me, even if the beers were selling for $8 for a 250ml Kronenbourg.

Looking around I was reasonably sure that even in the cheap seats you’d get a decent view.

At the end of the day there’s nothing cheap about this production.

Struggling families might have to make do with watching it on DVD.

But if you have a lazy $500 it’s one hell of a show.

[Note: The expensive cattle get herded out by a single exit at the end, it might be worth having another very expensive beer and letting them all clear out before chancing your luck in the crush]

What’s Your opinion?

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43 Responses to
Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion – A review
Overheard 11:48 am 24 Oct 08

caf said :

Yeah, it sucks performing in front of a dead crowd.

Amen to that. Sang one song out at Braidwood last night and it’s totally un-mic’d, you’re as much as two feet from the audience and the interaction is AWESOME! (See the DIY WOTZ ON guide for a Saturday night gig I urge you NOT to miss. Er, not for muggins here doing a one-song walk-up — I’ll be at the coast, but Martin Pearson and Daniel Champagne will be in Mawson.)

Back OT, I’ve not been to see a Cirque du Soleil show. The cost always has seemed prohibitive and I can’t get within a sniff of a comp ticket for this one. But the kids very rarely come to Canberra these days, and I’d rather enjoy it vicariously through their eyes.

Either way, it’s got to better than going across the border where the animal circus is on.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 11:41 am 24 Oct 08

I booked earlier this week for one night mid next week and was able to get 2 tickets 5 rows from the front for 230 bucks.

I’ve never seen a Cirque Du Soleil for real, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Are we allowed to bring eskies in?

Pandy 11:29 am 24 Oct 08

Clowns frighten me.

astrojax 11:22 am 24 Oct 08

i saw zumanity in vegas – an astounding piece of theatre, but dunno if i’ll get to this one. while mortgage rates have come down a little, budgets are still tight. will investigate ‘cheap’ matinees, though – ta for tip, george.

Granny 10:26 am 24 Oct 08

I got given a Kinder Surprise easter egg once for being the best audience member ….

We went to see this little show in Chelsea or somewhere. It was called, “All I Want to be is an Ugly Sister” about a young boy with a dream to play an ugly sister in the Cinderella pantomime. One of the ‘ugly sister’ guys in particular just had the female mannerisms down so well that I literally fell off my chair laughing (I think it helped that they let us take our champers in with us).

The performers were cracking up too.

It was a bit of a shock when one of them ran off stage and pressed the chocolate into my hand, and I must have looked a bit horrified, but it did make my night.

: )

la mente torbida 10:26 am 24 Oct 08

I must admit to not seeing Dralion. First saw Cirque de Soliel in Adelaide a few years ago and as a spectacle….it blew me away.

Saw the next tour in Canberra, it was very good, but lacked the impact of the first attendance.

Maybe they are the type of shows you go to once. Subsequent attendance does not have the same impact.

caf 10:08 am 24 Oct 08

Yeah, it sucks performing in front of a dead crowd.

Granny 10:02 am 24 Oct 08

I can kind of understand that, though. Some of the energy has to come from the audience. If they won’t give it back, the show is never as good.

johnboy 9:49 am 24 Oct 08

One other thing to look forward to is the chinese acrobats getting shitty that the crowd isn’t giving them the cheers they think they’re due.

You need to be sitting pretty close to see their faces that well though.

stereo henry 9:36 am 24 Oct 08

going for gratis is where it’s at… paying $8 for a beer and $10 for bubbly is not, byo and avoid the rush 🙂

toriness 9:35 am 24 Oct 08

i am going tonight with a group of 8 i think, we bought our tickets like 6 months ago, they were (from memory!) only about $120-130 each – not sure whether this was some sort of group booking or early bird discount.

i saw varakei last year which was jaw-dropping spectacular – if dralion is even ‘only’ just as good, my money is well spent!!

jakez 9:12 am 24 Oct 08

Speaking of celebrities, I was there as well 😛

My fiancee had free tickets through work so I got to go for a very reasonable price. I was skeptical going in but I have to say it was absolutely fantastic.

If you have the opportunity, I’d absolutely recommend going for free.

George 9:01 am 24 Oct 08

I thought Dralion was remarkable. It is not just an acrobatic show…it’s a gala theatre experience. I was very impressed with the music and mood of the show.

The highlights for me were the young juggler and the trampoline routine. The costumes and staging effects were also breathtaking.

Also seen there were Sir William Deane and Lady Deane, Rob de Castella, former MLA Richard Mulchay, future MLA Steve Doszpot, Queanbeyan City Councillor John Barilaro, and the glamorous Coralie Wood.

Tickets are not all around the $200 mark. I have booked some tickets for a matinee and they were very reasonably priced.

Thanks Cirque for bringing this amazing event to Canberra again.

peterh 9:00 am 24 Oct 08

going with work on tuesday night, we have secured a number of tickets for our clients. I am looking forward to it, and I expect that i will be in for a great evening. Didn’t know what the ticket costs were. now even more appreciative that i have the chance to go. I thought it was funny at the speed at which the tickets were snapped up. makes sense now…

Danman 8:32 am 24 Oct 08

Saw Mysterié in Vegas – all I can say is you have to get there, but 270 is a bit steep – we paid US$100 each and that was when the AU$ was about US$0.75 – and for US$8 we could get 30oz (Read 840ml) frozen margheritas(sp)

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