BROOMFIELD, CO – Clearly I didn’t know what to expect as I made my way into the rehearsal area before Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion show. I did expect a very serious, no time to smile kind of atmosphere. Instead, performers were loosely scattered around a stage, taking turns doing an array of acrobatic maneuvers as they leap through various metal hoops. The first thing that struck me by surprise was that these people appeared to be real. They weren’t the mysterious, almost ghostly figures that I had imagined.
In the time that I had the privilege to observe these brave souls warming up, I saw the pain in their faces at times, after grazing the solid metal hoops during their aerials. I did see mistakes being made occasionally. But what surprised me the most was how much fun they were having. In between their flips and twists through the air, they were laughing and joking around with each other. It was a pleasant surprise to see that they were enjoying themselves, but I must admit, I didn’t give them much hope towards putting on a flawless performance. In my eyes, they weren’t serious enough to pull it off and they seemed to need more practice.
It turns out I was right in a way. Over the course of the evening, there were a couple noticeable mistakes made. However, in the scale of things, that was nothing. There was a countless number of times that I said to myself “no way, they can’t pull that off!” Somehow they did, time and time again. The thing that was even more impressive than the amount of times they pulled off impossible looking stunts was the fact that they made it look effortless. Perhaps the Cirque acrobats were feeding off the energy of the crowd and performing at a higher level than they were capable of during rehearsal. Whatever the case, something was obviously different. From afar, the whole production looked like one beautiful, flowing, piece of art. There was no evidence that the performers were struggling to perform a stunt, no sign that they were in pain; there was only art. From the set design, music, costumes and even the comedy acts, the presentation was downright stunning.
Tonight’s show (February 8th) was the first night of performances in Broomfield, CO. The crew will continue to blow people’s minds each night, through Sunday. The event this evening seemed to have a fairly packed house but as of now, there are some tickets to be had for the four upcoming shows. If you have the opportunity to check this show out, you will not be disappointed. This is not the circus. It is far beyond. It’s a circus comprised of the greatest athletes, dreamed up by the greatest artists.