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Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Dralion’ Chinese acrobatics taking over Stockton Arena

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Julie Desmarais

Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 8:00 am

Cirque du Soleil is presenting the Asian-themed “Dralion” at the Stockton Arena.

“Dralion,” a fusion of ancient Chinese circus traditions and the avant-garde style of Cirque du Soleil will offer seven shows between Oct. 17 and Oct. 21. The name Dralion (pronounced “Drah-lee-on”) is drawn from its two main symbols: the dragon, representing the East, and the lion, representing the West.

Julie Desmarais, “Dralion” tour publicist, shares her experiences working and traveling with the Cirque du Soleil performance.

For details and tickets, visit

Q: How long have you been with the show “Dralion”?

A: A little over two years. “Dralion” started touring under the big top in 1999.

Q: What were you doing before working with Cirque du Soleil?

A: I worked in communications related to the entertainment industry. Prior, I worked with big events in Montreal, such as the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Q: How would you describe “Dralion”?

A: It’s an incredible show with a lot of energy. I feel privileged on a daily basis to work with the group of people I do. We have eye-level acrobatics, great music and a live band.

Q: How large is the show?

A: There are 54 cast members on tour. Including the crew, there are a little over 100. We like to call ourselves the “Little League of Nations” because we have 16 countries represented (on staff).

Q: How does the show travel?

A: We travel by legs of 10 weeks. The equipment of “Dralion” is transported in 18 semi trucks. The cast and crew travels by bus or plane.

Q: Have you ever visited Lodi or Stockton?

A: I’ve been to California. This will be my first time in Stockton, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Q: What will you do while you are in the area?

A: Well, I always take Saturday as my day off. I have a little routine I like to do: Go for a nice brunch at a more locally owned or independent (eatery). Then I’ll wander around and walk and take the day for myself.

Q: In two years of traveling, what has been your favorite city you’ve explored?

A: It’s very hard to say. I feel very privileged. I like to call my tour a roadtrip.

We’ve been to Canada, so I can say I’ve toured my country as well. We visit new cities, like Stockton. We’ve been to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic ... Florida. Everywhere is unique.

Q: What do your family and friends say when you tell them you travel with the circus?

A: They really feel I’m lucky.  

Q: Does seeing the show ever get old?

A: No, every day is a new day. There are lots of experiences and moments. It’s always very different. I work with people who are from everywhere ...  I discover new cultures day after day.

Q: What do you like most about  “Dralion”?

A: I love  “Dralion.” There is a lot of energy. The show contains a fusion of East and West traditional Chinese acrobatics. There is an Asian flare with 26 performers from China. The cast has a lot of energy and a lot to give and we look forward to hearing the crowds in Stockton.

“Dralion” has a very good vibe.

Q: The cast and crew travels for 10 weeks and then has two weeks off. What do you do during your breaks?

A: I spend time with my family in Montreal, and visiting restaurants and (enjoying) good food as well. I’m a foodist. I enjoy discovering new foods, and I have a taste for a lot of things. Spend quality time with family friends.

During our last vacation, I was in Montreal the first couple of days and then went to see friends in Istanbul.



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