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Cirque du Soleil: Dralion (2000) – DVD Review

Cirque du Soleil: Dralion DVD cover art


Show Directed by: Guy Caron
Film Directed by: David Mallet
Music by: Violaine Corradi


  • Making of featurette
  • Multi-angle performances for Single-Hand Balancing, Teeterboard, Dralions & Skipping Rope
  • Trailer
  • Additional trailers for Cirque du Soleil: Quidam and Riverdance: Life in New York

Released by: Sony
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Rent it.

Cirque du Soleil, if you’re somehow not already familiar with it, is essentially what we know of as a standard circus–except on crack. Performances of almost superhuman strength and skill are set against a backdrop of amazing, ever-shifting visuals, not to mention incredible music. Dralion marks their most recently completed show (Cirque’s world tours take three years–their latest, Varekai, is making the rounds as I write this) and is an interesting fusion of the traditions that make up the Chinese circus and the established world and style of Cirque.

[ad#longpost]I’ll admit this to you up front: of the Cirque shows that I’m familiar with, this would have to be my least favorite. I’ve tried to dissect the reasons for this in my own head, and what I figure is that it’s a combination of a new director (Franco Dragone isn’t on this one), new composor (Benoit Jutras is AWOL) and the fact that there isn’t that teasing trace of a framing story, which always seems to give Cirque that pseudo-narrative quality.

This is not to say that the acts and the show itself aren’t suitably impressive–like sex, the worst Cirque you’ve ever had is pretty damn good. With this go-round you’re looking at everything from the obligatory aerial work to some amazing acrobatic work with hoop divers–and all manner of feats in-between. And as always when it comes to discs of Cirque, there’s just no substitute for seeing the thing live–but this will do in a pinch.

Making things better is the list of special features. Granted, there’s not a very long list (who would turn down a director’s commentary on these things? Not me…) but what’s there is quality. The featurette has some good behind the scenes footage as well as some apparently honest comments by director Caron (honest as in, “Oh shit, how are we going to pull this whole thing together in three months?”). It’s especially good considering the entire east meets west philosophy behind the show and the trials and tribulations that came along with such an endeavor: for example, trying to choreograph a number for performers who aren’t exactly dancers…and don’t speak either English or French.

Cirque du Soleil: Dralion

Also very choice are the four acts that they provide three additional angles each for you to choose from which while watching the on-screen goodness. Although director of the film portion of the show, Mallet, is quite good at what he does, sometimes you just want to see things from a different perspective. Very nice–shame they couldn’t do the entire show like this.

On the whole, the Cirque completist is going to want to own this disc–but everyone else should at least give it a whirl. It is Cirque, after all.

Cirque du Soleil: Dralion

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