Cirque du Soleil Dralion Review: The Performance That Blew Us Away

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Last night we had the chance to see Cirque du Soleil Dralion at the Cleveland State University Wolstein Center. It was phenomenal! I wish I had someone sitting beside me counting how many times I said, “Oh…Wow!”

The acts were imaginative, creative, and in true Cirque fashion, unbelievable. We were blown away by the acrobatics, high-flying acts, amazing tricks, and even the humor.

DralionPhoto: Daniel Demarais Costume: François Barbeau © 2011 Cirque du Soleil

Here’s a video promo that gives you a glimpse of the incredible show we saw last night:

The show begins casually with a trio of clowns who interact with the audience in ways that bring big laughs. They polished bald heads, roped off our entire row with Cirque du Soleil style caution tape, staged a mock wedding, and had us howling with other humorous surprises. I haven’t laughed that hard since our last visit to the comedy club!

The clowns were so funny in this opening/warm-up performance that, if you are attending the show, be sure to show up early to ensure you don’t miss it.

The first act was Handbalancing. This woman was amazing!

Cirque du SoleilPhoto: Daniel Desmarais Costume : François Barbeau ©2010 Cirque du Soleil

She does her entire performance on what’s called a cane. It’s basically a stick with the tiniest platform on top. She balanced on one hand while fluidly moving from one contortion to the other. Every time you thought a position was the most difficult of her act, she shifted into something even more implausible. And then she would push herself up and “jump” to switch from one hand to the other. Incredible!

Cirque du Soleil Dralion continued through the night with one astounding performance after another. Dave and I talked after the show and decided that we just couldn’t pick a favorite. They were all so extraordinary in their own ways.

The Trampoline act was unlike anything we had ever seen.

Cirque TrampolinePhoto: Daniel Demarais Costume : François Barbeau © 2011 Cirque du Soleil

Two trampolines sat a good distance from one another in front of a 60-foot-wide wall that rises 26-feet-high. The aerialists not only bounced and flipped from one trampoline to another, which would have been impressive enough, but they dove from the wall and even used it as a landing pad! They would jump up, seem to float, appear to stick to the wall, and then propel themselves off in a series of flips, twists, and turns. I could watch an entire show of just this act. It was stunning and breathtaking!

The Juggling performance was fascinating – at one point in the fast-paced performance the artist juggles 8 balls at once! And not only that, he could balance them on various parts of his body: his forehead, the middle of his arm, the side of his head. The difficulty level was impressive and he made it look so easy which is a real skill in itself.

Aerial Pas de Deux was a spectacular and romantic performance by two artists who float through the air intertwined in flowing blue cloth.

Cirque Pasa de DeuxPhoto: Daniel Demarais Costume: François Barbeau © 2011 Cirque du Soleil

They told a love story through their artistry as they soared over the stage as performed amazing acts of flexibility and strength. I thought this was one of the most beautiful performances of the show.

The Diabalo act was fun and upbeat. The Diablo is a Chinese yo-yo which uses two sticks linked by a string with a wooden spool to spin, throw, toss, and catch.

Cirque DiabaloThe performers could throw the spool perform acrobatic acts and then catch the spool without blinking an eye. I don’t know that I could even keep the spool moving on the string, let along throw it, do a front walkover, catch it, and smile sweetly all the while!

The artist performing the Aerial Hoop act was amazing!

Cirque Aeriel HoopPhoto: Al Seib Costumes: François Barbeau ©2000 Cirque du Soleil

Using incredible strength, flexibility, and agility she performed an aerial ballet from a hoop high above the stage. We could barely believe it when she balanced herself on the hoop with just the back of her neck one minute and then just the top of her foot in another. She ended the act spinning faster than I have ever seen anyone spin!

Hoop Diving was a wonderful act that’s not to be missed.

Cirque du Soleil DralionPhoto: Daniel Demarais Costume: François Barbeau © 2011 Cirque du Soleil

Ten artists hurl themselves through a series of hoops stacked on top of one another. Not only do they dive through the hoops, but they do it in true Cirque fashion – upside-down, flipping before and after, diving from a lower hoop to a higher one, and even throwing one another through the hoops. And as if that’s not difficult enough, at one point in the act the hoops rotate and spin in alternating directions. It was unbelievable!

We also enjoyed Skipping Ropes. I have no idea how these performers do the flips, twists, turns, other acrobatics all the while keeping time with the spinning ropes. I can barely jump rope with a single rope on both feet!

Cirque SkippingPhoto: Daniel Desmarais Costume: François Barbeau

They jumped rope the regular way but inside 3 turning ropes, they jumped while doing handstands, they even made a human pyramid and jumped rope on top of one another and all at once. Amazing!

It was intriguing to watch the Dralions act itself.

Cirque DragonsPhoto: Daniel Demarais Costume: François Barbeau © 2011 Cirque du Soleil

Performers balanced on giant wooden balls. But, of course, they didn’t just stand there because that would be too easy. They walked around the stage on top of the balls, they had other performers who dressed up as two-person dragons climb on to the balls as well, and then they went up and down a see-saw!

In Bamboo Poles, six men balanced tall decorative poles while dancing, twisting, turning, and even flipping and they all kept in time with one another, never missing a cue.

Bamboo PolesPhoto: Daniel Demarais Costume: François Barbeau © 2011 Cirque du Soleil

There was an act that I would have loved to see more of – Kala.

Cirque ClevelandPhoto: Mark Delong Costume: François Barbeau © Cirque du Soleil 2011

It was a performer who would appear on stage in a giant wheel that he spun from the inside all around the stage. It was a beautiful performance that would appear here and there for a minute or two at a time and I was so impressed with it that I would have enjoyed seeing it in a full act.

Throughout the evening the theme of Dralion came through. The show’s name is derived from the dragon which symbolizes the East and the lion, symbolizing the West. Also, the four elements that govern nature play a theatrical role throughout as well. Each element is represented by an artist adorned in it’s evocative color: air is blue, fire is red, water is green, and earth is brown.

Cirque du Soleil Dralion was an astounding, breath-taking show and we were so excited to get the chance to attend for Dave’s birthday. It was a performance that we will always remember and one that we highly recommend.

Cirque du Soleil Dralion will be here in Cleveland at the Wolstein Center until April 8th. And the show is traveling throughout the country after. To learn more, see behind the scene photos, and watch artist interviews “Like” Cirque du Soleil Dralion on Facebook.

Tickets were provided. No compensation was received. The honest opinions are my own and those of my family. 

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About Tired Mom Tésa

Tésa (pronounced Taysa) is a work-at-home mom who enjoys blogging while raising her family in Cleveland, Ohio. In between naps, Tésa enjoys writing about family life, giving back, food, tech, and travel.

Connect with Tésa Nicolanti on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.


  1. You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest websites on the net.

    I’m going to highly recommend this site!

  2. Janet W. says:

    Wow! Looks absolutely amazing. I would be entertained the entire show!

  3. Looks fabulous!

  4. Brenda C. says:

    Beautiful! It’s a dream of mine to attend a Cirque du Soleil show.

  5. We have La Nouba in Orlando. We’ve loved every Cirque we’ve been to.

  6. I’m jealous that you got to see Cirque du Soleil (not really.) But I have longed to
    go see one of their performances. I can only imagine how amazing that it must
    have been. I knew someone that went to see one of their shows and they said
    it was just wonderful. Anyway, maybe one day I’ll get the chance to go see one
    of their shows.

  7. Sherry Compton says:

    I am amazed and blown away by these talented performers. I have never seen Cirque Du Soleil in person, but I’m told by everyone who has that it’s fabulous. You did a great job showcasing it to us with the photos. Hope I get to see it soon!

  8. Michael Gardner says:

    I saw one of their shows at Downtown Disney in Orlando, FL twice and it is the most amazing things I have ever seem in my life. It was defiantly worth the almost $80 per person to get in. One of the times we went we took my Sister-In-Law from Brazil (this was her first time in the US), and she was in awe. I really want to go to Vegas to see the show there.

  9. Heather Panjon says:

    The effects are amazing, glad you enjoyed!:)

  10. momznite says:

    I am so jealous! What a show!

  11. We’ve loved every Cirque we’ve ever seen.

  12. It’s just unbelievable what they can do with their bodies.

  13. It looks so amazing! We’ve been wanting to take the kids because they’re so into it. I’ll have to look at what dates and locations they have available :)

  14. This looks so amazing!! I have never been to this show before, but I’d love to go! You did a great job showing it!

  15. This looks absolutely stunning and you described it so well! I can almost see it. I hope it comes close to us soon – I’d love to take the kids!

  16. This looks SO amazing! I have never been to a show but I have always wanted to, especially when we are in Orlando! I think the Aerial Hoop would have probably been my favorite, I love graceful things like that!

  17. I have seen several of the Cirque shows over the last 15 years and each and every time I see one, I just sit there in awe of their superhuman strength, flexibility and talents! I leave swearing that I plan to eat better and take good care of my body every time! I have also taken my kids to see a Cirque show and they loved it! Lucky for us, we had to be in Vegas for my son’s hockey tourney, so we made time to see the Ra Cirque show and that has been on of my favorites! I haven’t seen this one, so thanks so much for sharing. Your review was excellent and very thorough!

  18. Gosh the talent!! I so want to go to one of their shows. They’re incredible!!

  19. I have always wanted to go to a Cirque du Soleil show – it is totally on my bucket list. Looks like you guys had a really fun evening with lots of memories to take forward.

  20. That looks AMAZING I would love a show like that, beautiful photos too!

  21. From the pictures you posted, looks like a fun show to watch.

  22. I have heard these shows are amazing, but have never gotten to experience one…. one day, maybe!

  23. I have always wanted to see them in Vegas, now I want to see them even more. Sounds like an absolutely amazing show!

  24. WHat a great review. This looks incredible!

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