Experiencing Cirque du Soleil

I had the opportunity to see Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion show this evening and while often visually stunning, there were a lot of… gaps.  The name is the slamming together of dragon and lion and has a messy “mixing of cultures” to it which is a harbinger for the cultural bloodbath that follows.  The presentation is broken stereotypically down into the four elements which is a somewhat Western conception with no real analog in Sino-Japanese, Australian Aboriginal nor Aryan mythos and the portrayal of love, passion, and other emotions never really broke from European tradition.  The performers were excellent acrobats, which I assumed would make them skilled dancers but often the interstitials came off as frenetic and hurried rather than energetic and lively.  I assumed that the performance would have an incredibly tight choreography to it which it did, but there were also decision trees; one could notice spots where a few extra bars were added to let performers get into sync and backup positions if someone wasn’t in the right place at the right time.  I wonder if these were practiced, came out of intense mastery of the craft, or I’m just seeing things.

This said, there were points where the show was breathtaking, but I think “it’s nice” should always list caveats.  One possibly unintentional benefit of our seats were that we had a good view of the musicians.  I thought, at first, that the music was recorded but under the main stage was an impressive pit crew that looked like they were having the time of their lives for the full 2 hours of the show with no hint of the repetition fatigue that the other performers sometimes showed.