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SHOW REVIEW: “Dralion” closes Sunday in San Diego

Chinese dragon meets lion in Cirque du Soleil’s fanciful “Dralion,” playing a very short run through Sunday at Valley View Casino Center (formerly San Diego Sports Arena).

The portmanteau title is intended to symbolize the fusion of Eastern and Western traditions. The show’s acts depict the four elements – earth, air, fire and water – which are carried out in the color schemes of the artists’ costumes.

Interspersed with Cirque’s signature “oh wow” acrobatics is a slapstick trio of comics in the old Italian tradition, muttering nonsense syllables and doing silly things including involving an “audience volunteer” (clearly a plant from the cast) in their goofy goings-on.

These guys are mildly amusing, but wear out their welcome pretty quickly. After all, it’s the acrobatics we’re all there for. And that does not disappoint.

There are pole balancers, jugglers and rope skippers, single-hand balancers and aerial hoop artists, though strangely no trapeze artists. The single “omigod” act for me involves a quartet of trampolinists working against a 26-foot wall with giant “claws” allowing the artists to climb and suspend themselves from the wall – or bounce all the way up to a standing position on top of it.

But that’s not to slight the folks who do backflips on and onto large exercise balls, or hanging from one’s neck on a ring suspended from the ceiling, or the spectacular hoop diving through four stationary hoops. Nor the two singers who interpret the new-Agey music, nor the hard-working (and high decibel) band.

The concept behind the show is harmony between humans and nature. It’s not clear whether that will ever be achieved, but this is a pleasant way to come to a consideration of that ideal.

The details

“Dralion” plays through Sunday, Nov. 18 at Valley View Casino Center (formerly San Diego Sports Arena)

Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturday at 3:30 and 7:30 pm; Sunday at 1 and 5 pm.

For tickets, visit HERE.

To read more reviews by Jean Lowerison, click HERE.