Tag Archives: wolstein center

Wonder-struck by Cirque du Soleil's Dralion

Earlier this week, I had to bring into work a photo from my childhood. As I was looking through the box of family photos in my bedroom closet, I found this one:

And seeing it made me question where that carefree kid went.  I can be so focused on whatever tasks I’m juggling that it’s hard to just sit back and let myself be amazed by something.

Then last night, I saw Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion and was wonder-struck on a level I haven’t been in awhile.

Dralion is one of 22 productions that Cirque du Soleil currently has touring the world and it’s making its latest stop in Cleveland right now through this Sunday, April 8.

What started as a small Canadian street theatre group almost 30 years ago has been transformed into a 5,000-strong company that produces jaw-dropping spectacles worldwide. Their productions are renowned for incorporating acrobatic and aerial feats with music, mammoth sets and elaborate costuming.

After many years performing under the circus tent, Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion production has been transformed into an arena show on tour and is making its latest stop in Cleveland.

Dralion’s name is a combination of its two emblematic characters: the dragon, a symbol of Eastern culture, and the lion, symbolizing the West. Similarly, the show melds Cirque du Soleil’s street performer style with thousands of years of Chinese acrobatic arts.

This was my first Cirque du Soleil experience and I went in not really knowing what to expect. I knew I would probably fall in love with the costumes and design – and I definitely did, mesmerized when I caught a glimpse of the performers and technicians suspended high above the Wolstein Center in one of the show’s magnificent set pieces.

What I wasn’t as prepared for, though, was how beautiful and stunning the performances were. For over two hours, I was astonished act-after-act by the production’s acrobats, gymnasts, jugglers and aerial artists.

50 artists are featured over the course of Dralion. And between performances of acrobatic rope skipping, aerial dancingdiabolo yo-yoing, bamboo pole balancing and hoop diving, we were amused by offbeat vignettes from Dralion’s clowns.

My favorite act of the night, though, was the Trampoline – as aerialists flew back and forth between a trampoline and wall performing dizzying stunts mid-air. I kind of need the same setup for my backyard.

When I’m traveling, I always love stumbling onto street theatre. Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion, though, transcended those experiences – combining a jaw-dropping display of athleticism with a complementary mix of rock concert and ballet.

And if the performers’ feats of strength, balance and flexibility weren’t enough, the graceful choreography and powerful voices that filled the Wolstein Center transported me out of whatever stress I had been dealing with before the show and kept me in its grasp throughout.

As I walked out of the Wolstein Center afterwards – smiling with amazement – I caught a glimpse of that little girl in the picture.

Dralion is playing at the Wolstein Center now through this Sunday, April 8. The nice thing about being in an arena setup like the Wolstein is that you’re likely to have a clear, fairly close view of the action.

More information and tickets can be found here.

Disclosure: I was offered two tickets to see Dralion in exchange for reviewing it. As always, the events I choose to write about and my opinions are 100% my own.  Images courtesy of the Wolstein Center/Cirque du Soleil media kit.

Cirque du Soleil's Dralion and a Valentine's Day Discount

Confession time: I have a “Performing Arts Bucket List.” Yep, I’ve managed to combine my obsession for making lists with being a theatre fangirl.

One of the items I have yet to cross off: Cirque du Soleil.

This Spring, I’m excited to finally experience one of their shows when Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion comes to the Wolstein Center, April 4 through 8.

Dralion is one of 22 productions that Cirque du Soleil currently has touring the world.

What started as a small street theatre group near Quebec City has been transformed into a 5,000-strong company that produces jaw-dropping spectacles worldwide. Their productions are renowned for incorporating acrobatic and aerial feats with music, mammoth sets and elaborate costuming.

Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion production originally premiered over 10 years ago in Montreal, Canada. And after many years performing under the circus tent, it has now gone on an arena tour with a stop in Cleveland. I actually almost saw Dralion in Philly a few years ago for a friend’s birthday but wasn’t able to make it – hurray for second chances!

Dralion’s name is a combination of its two emblematic characters: the dragon, a symbol of Eastern culture, and the lion, symbolizing the West. Similarly, the show melds Cirque du Soleil’s style with thousands of years of Chinese acrobatic arts.

50 international acrobats, gymnasts, musicians and singers are featured in the production. Through aerial hoops and dancing, balancing acts and juggling, their performances strive to invoke elements of nature and fantastical creatures.

Although the show is not until April, the Wolstein Center is currently running a special promotion in time for Valentine’s Day.

Use the code “Valentine” now through Feb. 16 and get a complimentary seat upgrade to the next higher ticket level.  For instance, if you purchase $63 tickets, which are typically Category 1 seats,  the code will get you Premium level seats.

Nothing says “I love you” like aerial silks. Ok, there might be a few exceptions to that, but if you’re looking for an unexpected gift for Valentine’s — or Galentine’s Day (any other Parks and Recs fans out there?), this promotion will save you a few dollars.

You can purchase tickets here.

Disclosure: I was offered two tickets to see Dralion in April in exchange for this post. As always, the events I choose to write about and my opinions are 100% my own.  Images courtesy of the Wolstein Center/Cirque du Soleil media kit.

CSU Packs the House for The Gathering Place

Have you entered to win 2 tickets to Cleveland’s Great Big Home and Garden Show? You have until Tuesday, January 24 at 11:59pm – good luck!

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When I was in college, it was basketball not football that was really big at our school. When I first moved to Ohio, I was fascinated by how OSU and Michigan fans filled the bars on Saturdays to watch football. I really hadn’t experienced anything like that before.

College basketball, on the other hand – now that’s something we would drop everything for. With the Philadelphia Big 5 (La Salle, St. Joe’s, Villanova, UPenn, and Temple), basketball season was the time of year the campus would rally.

Now that I live in Cleveland I still don’t have to go far to get my fill of college hoops each season, as the Cleveland State Women’s and Men’s basketball teams make their home in the heart of downtown CLE.

When the Cleveland State University Women’s Basketball team takes on Detroit next Saturday, you too will have more than one reason to attend the game:  the Vikings are participating in the NCAA Pack the House Challenge.

The purpose of the January 28th Pack the House Game is to increase awareness in the sport of women’s basketball and help prepare the next generation of women’s college basketball players and fans.

All tickets for the 2pm game cost only $1, with the goal of setting an attendance record. For first-time attendees, it’s a great (and inexpensive!) way to experience Vikings basketball.

There will also be post-game free throws, $1 menu items and a free KidZone for families.

If local school pride’s not enough to get you down to the Wolstein Center on the 28th, a portion of all ticket sales will benefit The Gathering Place, a nonprofit, community-based cancer support center serving the needs of Greater Cleveland.

My dad’s a three-time cancer survivor so I’ve seen firsthand how excruciating the journey can be. Programs like the ones that The Gathering Place provides free of charge are often essential for the individuals and families touched by cancer.

It’s easy to build awareness for Women’s Basketball and raise money for The Gathering Place — for only $1:

When you buy your tickets, let them know you learned about the game through this post by entering the code ClueInto in the promo code section of the ticketing website. If you purchase your ticket in person, provide the code to the box office seller.

If you can’t make it on January 28th, you can learn more about the Vikings’ 2011-2012 Women’s Basketball Season here. All home games are played at the Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Avenue.

Disclosure: I was invited by the Wolstein Center to participate in a contest among other local bloggers to see who can pack the house the most. As always, though, my thoughts and the choice of events I share are 100% my own.