DISAPPOINTINGLY undersold, which had a palpable effect on the atmosphere, this arena version of Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion nevertheless featured enough glimpses of superhuman agility and acrobatic grace to sustain the company’s reputation as a touring phenomenon.
Cirque du Soleil: Dralion - The Hydro, Glasgow
The title, a compound of “Dragon” and “Lion”, reflects the fusion of traditional Chinese circus with a more contemporary, Western variety. But there were also strong African, Indian and elemental aspects to the vibrant costumes and themes, making for a typically overcooked and confusing narrative that, happily, was as disposable as ever. Most memorable were the trampoline artists, plunging headfirst off the ramparts of their forbidding citadel before running back up the walls with such seeming lack of effort that they recalled film stuntmen on wires, only without the wires.
Impressive too was juggler Vladik Miagkostoupov, less for the command of his orbs as the contortions and sinewy choreography he twisted through as they were in the air.
An aerial pas de deux, with a couple intertwined around draped silks and each other afforded a rare moment of contemplative beauty, while an acrobatic troupe brought remarkable precision to a blur of hoop-diving and rope-skipping, culminating in a scarcely credible human pyramid vaulting the rope as one.
Intermittently, a motley crew of clowns parodied the studied skill around them with buffoonish glee and cruelty, even as their knockabout antics belied the mastery of their own artform.
Seen on 07.05.14