Review: Cirque du Soleil's Dralion

Updated: 09/20/2012 7:51 PM KSTP.com By: Sarina Long

Target Center has transformed into a beautiful temple where acrobats, gymnasts, musicians and singers perform Cirque du Soleil's Dralion through Sunday, September 23rd.

The production, which premiered in Montreal in 1999, kicked off a seven-show run in Minneapolis last night.

Typically performing under their trademark blue and gold "chapiteau," (French for big top),  Dralion has been moved to arenas.

The move takes some of the shine off the in-your-face dynamic audience experience Cirque shows are famous for.

Don't get me wrong, the show is still incredible with plenty of moments to take your breath away. However, the arena seating layout puts the crowd farther away from the stage -- which unintentionally distances you from the show.

There are a few dozen premium seats available stage-side on the arena floor, but most of the audience is too far to get the up-front engagement that’s a key ingredient to Cirque’s roving tent shows.

The set is another place that lacks cool props like you would see in Ovo or other popular cirque shows.

Now back to the good stuff.

Cirque du Soleil says the two-and-a-half hour production inspired by Eastern philosophy involves the never-ending quest for harmony between humans and nature.

Natural elements are represented by beautiful goddesses (see photo):

Two main symbols appear throughout the show:  a dragon representing the East, and a lion representing the West. 

Get ready for sensory overload as you watch the incredibly talented acrobats make the toughest moves look easy.

Fearless aerialists defy the laws of gravity, bouncing from trampolines to a backdrop they use as both a diving board and climbing wall.

Then there's Kala, a gymnast who uses a wheel to represent time and the infinite cycle of life.

This man thrusts his body in incredible ways, showing off muscles I did not even know existed on the human body.

I don't want to reveal too much but pay close attention to the four wacky Italian butlers who pop up throughout the show. They do a great job allowing the audience to recover from the, "Oh wow, did you see that?" moments which are often.  Unfortunately, overall, this show may not blow you away.

Show Schedule (September 19 - 23, 2012):
• Wednesday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m.
• Thursday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m.
• Friday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, September 22 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, September 23 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Click here for show and ticket information.

Sarina Long is a KSTP.com columnist covering the latest entertainment news.