A blend of Chinese circus traditions with avant-garde Western style, Cirque du Soleil's "Dralion" comes to the Stockton Arena for seven performances beginning Wednesday.
Pronounced Drah-lee-on, the show features an international cast of 54 performers skilled in acrobatics, trampoline, juggling, balancing acts, clowning and more. They perform in colorful costumes in front of a set piece that is supposed to look like a futuristic Chinese temple.
The show's name is taken from two symbols the dragon representing the East and the lion representing the West.
"It's a show that appeals to everybody, every age group,"said Julie Desmarais, the tour publicist. "It's all about real people performing the unreal. It's really unique. It's a very high-energy, high-level show."
The production is inspired by Eastern philosophy and deals with the search for harmony between man and nature. There are four characters representing the four elements, with each having a different color. Air is blue, fire is red, earth is ochre and water is green.
The costume styles come from China, India and Africa and incorporate unusual materials, such as horse hair, emu feathers and even window screens.
A live band performs the music, which mixes Indian melodies with Andalusian, African and Central and Western European influences.
"One of the challenges that musicians will face is to adapt to what's happening on stage," Desmarais said.
Among the cast members is Yasha Ratkiski, a trampoline artist from Belarus. He started trampoline at age 7 and won awards in international competitions before he was hired by Cirque du Soleil. As part of his act, he and other trampoline artists jump off a 26-foot-high wall.
"It's different," he said. "Four-thousand people watching us it's amazing, amazing energy."
"Dralion" premièred in 1999 and has been seen by 8 million people around the world. Audiences love the show, said Desmarais.
"They're on the edge of their seats, especially when Yasha and the rest of the group in the (trampoline) number jump up," she said.
WHAT: Cirque Du Soleil's "Dralion"
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Oct. 19, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, 1 and 5 p.m. Oct. 21
WHERE: Stockton Arena, 248 W. Fremont St.
TICKETS: $35-$75 adults, $28-$61 children 12 and under, $31.50-$63 military, seniors, students