Backstage at Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion + 5 questions!

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We recently attended one of the final performances of Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion (in Charlottesville, VA), and Zoey had the opportunity to interview one of the performers before the show…who was also kind enough to give us a backstage tour after the show!

Over the summer, we had the opportunity to tour Cirque du Soleil’s International Headquarters in Montreal. The kids loved the tour and seeing how everything was made, but this performance of Dralion was the first time they saw a live Cirque du Soleil show in person.

Surprising no one, they loved it. Read our review for details of the show itself.

Before the show, Zoey sat down with Alejandro “Toro” Cuenca, who is one of the main performers in the trampoline act. During the act, Toro and three other aerialists use trampolines to seemingly float through the air and walk up walls. It looks like a blast, and I’d love to try it sometime.

As Zoey was chatting with Toro before the show, there were a few acts rehearsing on stage. Included were some of Toro’s fellow trampoline aerialists and the acrobats who form the huge dragons in the show.

IMG_1244IMG_1249Toro, as it turns out, is quite the charmer with little kids. He’s been with Cirque du Soleil for five years and dreams of becoming a Hollywood stunt man, so I’d say he’s on the right track. (Check out his impressive demo reel here.)

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As always, all questions are Zoey’s. I simply prompt her with “clue words” so she can remember. (Make sure you turn on subtitles if you can’t make out Zoey’s questions.)

Following the show, an exhausted Toro came back out and took Zoey on a grand tour of the backstage areas. Allow me to pull back the curtain a little. This is what the stage looks like from the front:

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And this is what it looks like from the back:

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The structure of the wall is incredibly complex and takes hours to assemble. What I thought was interesting is that the wall acts almost like a one-way mirror. To the audience, it looks solid. But the performers and crew backstage can see through it.

Dralion has five musicians who are all staged directly beneath the wall. They are positioned a little bit lower than the stage, but they’re all perfectly visible. Here’s one of the musician stations from the back.

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Immediately behind the stage and wall is a practice and warm-up area where performers can wait for their cues, stretch, and quickly practice parts of their performance. They also have a TV with a live feed of the show from the audience’s perspective.IMG_1273 IMG_1274

Off to the side is storage for some of the larger costumes, including the big dragons.

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There’s also a costume/wardrobe room where the rest of the costumes are stored and where minor alterations and fixes can be made.

IMG_1234 IMG_1236 IMG_1240The hallways are lined with mostly empty crates and boxes, which are used to carry absolutely everything the show needs as it travels between cities.

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And there’s a makeup room where all the performers apply their own makeup. Zoey also got her very first makeup lesson! Not many little girls can say that their first makeup was applied backstage at Cirque du Soleil.

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If you get a chance to see Dralion before it wraps up next year, I’d highly recommend it. However, you really can’t go wrong with any Cirque du Soleil performance. If you find yourself somewhere with a resident show (Las Vegas or Orlando) or if a touring show comes to town, don’t miss it. You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks so much to Toro for taking the time to chat with Zoey and give us a backstage tour. Thanks also to Cirque du Soleil and Jim Ethridge and Erika Scholz at Marketing Inspirations for helping to arrange the interview!

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