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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]

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43 Responses to
Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion – A review
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peterh 9:48 am 29 Oct 08

I went last night.

I loved it. The 8 clients we invited loved it.

I switched off my adult brain (seem to be able to do that quite often these days) and became a child.

Everything was wonderful, the clowns, the dralions, the performers, the band, the singers.

I really felt as if I was at the circus, minus the smell of sawdust and the sad looking animals. The acrobatic feats were fantastic.

I could rip it apart and compare it to other events I have attended, but I prefer to say that if you can, go and see it. we were 5 rows back, and the performers faces were clear as a bell.

GB 11:29 am 28 Oct 08

Barron said :

Considering the article only mentions seats at $270 and the writer was given a free ticket by a friend (if this was as an invitee of Cirque du Soleil as is implied)it would have been a $270 ticket along with it all the (free) trappings I mentioned.

This is not true. Only very VIPs received the ‘full’ Tapis Rouge freebie. Most got ‘just’ entry — and would be in line for the $8 beers along with everyone else.

That said, having seen the previous show, I agree to some extent that “it is what it is” — circus, not particularly trying to be art. But, it does seem to me to be an opportunity lost, that for relatively little extra cost (in the scheme of these shows) they could engage artistic directors with a more original vision so the whole thing become more than the sum of its parts — adding an emotional engagement in addition to the wow factor.

But, they sure have a lot of wow factor!

johnboy 2:31 pm 27 Oct 08

I thought the mediocre clowns were a pacing device to make the highs of the WOW stuff higher.

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