Down to Earth: Latest Cirque du Soleil show to arrive in Chicago heralds nature's elements in human form
The Dralion act
By Philip Potempa firstname.lastname@example.org,
June 17, 2012
Vladik Miagkostupov has been excited about his time in Chicago as part of the troupe for Cirque du Soleil's newest traveling show "Dralion."
Originally from the Ukraine, he was in Chicago last month to talk about his feats of juggling, just one of the edge-of-the-seat moments part of the diverse show playing performances in Rosemont June 20 to 24 prior to the Chicago dates June 27 to July 1.
"What I do is combine acrobatic tricks and modern dance into the routine, so it's not the usual juggling act," he said.
Vladik’s love of performing was cultivated at a very young age as he was born into a creative family. Both of his parents were part of the Moscow Circus.
At age 4, his parents started his training in dancing and acrobatics, and his father, who is a juggler, taught Vladik juggling.
Vladik joined Cirque du Soleil in 2003 and joined "Dralion" on tour in 2006.
Dralion (pronounced "Dra-lee-on") is the fusion of ancient Chinese circus traditions and the avant-garde style of Cirque du Soleil.
With much of its inspiration coming from Eastern philosophy and its perpetual quest for harmony between humankind and nature, the international cast features 52 world-class acrobats, gymnasts, musicians, singers and comedic characters.
"Dralion" has been seen by more than 6 million audience members since the 1999 debut in Montreal, Canada.
Finally, after decades under the famed striped Cirque big top, Dralion is now be presented in arenas throughout the United States and Canada.
"This performance is filled with symbolism of the Eastern philosophy," he said.
"Each of the acts represent elements like water, fire, air and earth."
The show’s name is derived from its two emblematic creatures: the dragon, (symbolizing the East) and the lion (symbolizing the West).
"So in Dralion, the four elements that govern the natural order take on a human form and you can see each element represented by its own color with: air as blue; water being green; fire in red and earth as ochre."
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a Quebec-based organization with 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from close to 50 different countries.
To date, Cirque boasts 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in 40 countries on six continents.