By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Man and nature become one in the new Cirque du Soleil show “Dralion,” and it’s up to James Santos to make sure it all goes smoothly.
Santos is the assistant artistic director for “Dralion,” which comes to Tupelo next week for three performances. Cirque du Soleil’s performances blend the ancient art of Chinese acrobatics with hoop diving, hand balancing, juggling and more. In “Dralion,” East meets West with the creature Dralion, which combines the East’s dragon and the West’s lion.
“It’s man versus nature,” Santos said. “This show definitely has world music, too. It has a full, worldly sound, and it’s visually like the world in its color representation. It’s definitely balanced.”
Though Chinese acrobatics are the key to all Cirque shows, it’s still a show that belongs in the 21st century, Santos said.
“It’s also about moving together with modern music, and we do that through costume and movements that really give it a fresh, contemporary feeling,” he said.
“Dralion” features performers from 16 countries including China, Russia and Spain. They are constantly mastering new techniques and tricks, so it’s up to folks like Santos to help them incorporate new acts into the show.
“They’re always looking to change a little something. Once you get a trick, you may want to change that up. It can be different from opening night to a few days later,” he said. “The show is constantly evolving. It’s not like Broadway, where you have to fit that bill. We have more freedom.”
“Dralion” is family-friendly.
“It’s a very light, bright, colorful show. Of course, it has mystery and mystique, but it’s suitable for all ages,” he said.
He invites everyone to learn more about the “Dralion.”
“If people want to be entertained and escape from their world a bit, this is definitely a three-hour adventure you will not forget,” he said.
Check it Out
WHAT: Cirque du Soleil’s
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-
WHERE: BancorpSouth Arena
COST: Adult tickets are $90,
$70, $50 and $35, child tickets
are $72, $56, $40, $28,
all plus fees
INFO: bcsarena.com, (662) 841-6528