As the rain beats down on a grey Steel City, an explosion of colour brightens Sheffield’s Arena.
More than 1,500 costume pieces arrive along with performers from 19 countries for the world famous Cirque Du Soleil’s first UK tour of Dralion.
Fusing traditional Chinese acrobatics with a western circus theme, the dragon and lion form Dralion.
Highly skilled performers displayed their super-human abilities following a theme of the four elements, air, water, fire and earth, with costumes to represent each one, ensuring eyes do not leave the set.
There were gasps of disbelief at the perfectly choreographed routines of seemingly impossible acrobatics – hours and hours of disciplined training were clearly spent polishing the routines into the flawless masterpieces on show.
From its humble beginnings as a handful of street performers in 1984, the Canadian entertainment company now cherry picks the best performers from all over the world. Each one brings a different skill to the shows from juggling to acrobatics and trampolining.
Cirque Du Soleil push the limits of each act to become the best at their game.
The show opens with a clown overture. Audience participation was unavoidable and the whole Motorpoint Arena was cheered by the display.
A blast of colour from the lively intro moved the audience on to the first point of disbelief – the hand-balancing act.
The graceful way Diminuer Kadier used one arm to hold her entire body weight and perform upside-down gymnastics was both beautiful and amazing.
Her sheer strength was apparent as she held her position.
People lost count of the number of balls Vladimir Prestov was able to juggle – although that could have been because they were concentrating on his body-popping dance moves throughout the act.
Even more impressive was Jonathan Morin’s crossed wheel. He used his entire, perfectly sculpted body, to manoeuvre the steel spheres across the stage which resembled da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man sketch.
The entertainment was endless as the audience watched trampolinists walking walls, aerial spinning hoop displays – so fast she almost appeared invisible, and sexy diablo dancing.
Among the many highlights was the aerial pas de deux. Entwined in silk cloths, the duet performed an aerial love scene while gliding around the set.
The live band built up the tension and singer Ame Force’s voice was beautiful to complement each theme.
n Cirque du Soleil: Dralion continues today and tomorrow. For tickets, call 0114 256 5656.