Fusing the 3000 year-old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts with the multidisciplinary approach of Cirque du Soleil, Dralion draws its inspiration from Eastern philosophy and its never-ending quest for harmony between humans and nature. The show's name is derived from its two emblematic creatures: the dragon, symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West.
In Dralion, the four elements that govern the natural order take on a human form. Thus embodied, each element is represented by its own evocative colour: air is blue; water is green; fire is red; earth is ochre. In the world of Dralion, cultures blend, Man and Nature are one, and balance is achieved.
The primary sources of inspiration for the costumes of Dralion come from China, India and Africa. The palette favors vibrant solid colors, while the shapes are guided by the artists’ movements and choreography.
Each of the four elements and its associated family are represented by their own unique color. Blue is identified with air, green symbolizes water, red is for fire, and ochre represents the earth.
- Over 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) of fabric were used in creating the costumes;
- The fabrics come from regions around the globe, including China, the United States, Italy, France, England and Quebec;
- Materials that might be considered unusual were used in creating costumes and accessories: horse hair, raffia, metal, window screen, emu feathers, crystals, styrofoam, plastic, bubble wrap, fun fur, springs and an array of hardware items;
- To create the texture on the chest plate of the singer’s costume, bugs were glued on and then molded into different shapes;
- The artisans at the Cirque du Soleil costume workshop in Montreal worked for over three months fabricating the original costumes, hats, wigs and footwear required for Dralion. New costumes are continuously made.
- The majority of the Dralion costumes are custom-made for each artist, including shoes and head pieces.
- Dralion has close to 1,500 costume pieces including shoes, hats and accessories.
- The Dralion wardrobe team includes 4 permanent touring staff and 3 local wardrobe employees in each city. The wardrobe team is responsible for maintaining and repairing all costumes.
- The Dralion tour travels with washers and dryers because most costume pieces are machine washable and then hung to dry.
- Over 300 pairs of shoes are cleaned and painted by hand every week.