The inspiration behind Dralion stems from the Eastern philosophic thought that humans and nature are always on a never-ending quest for harmony. The show's name is derived from two creatures: the dragon, which symbolizes the East, and the lion, which symbolizes the West. The performance therefore blends the 3,000 year-old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts with Cirque du Soleil style and precision.
Within the colorful settings, the performance follows the four elements that govern the natural order of the world: air, water, fire, and earth. By fusing multiple cultures, Man and Nature become one and balance during the performance is reached.
Recently, Gay Life sat down with Argentinean singer and performer Cristian Zabala who plays L'ame Force in Dralion.
Can you describe your experience performing for Cirque du Soleil?
Great! It is another step on my life ladder. I believe that working for Cirque du Soleil gave me a chance to perform, to show many of my different skills. I was an acrobat in Alegria, a dancer in Quidam and a singer in Dralion. There is still more room for me to grow and learn. I want to do many other things.
As an artist, what do you feel you bring to your role in Cirque du Soleil's Dralion?
I bring my 28 years of experience as a dancer, an acrobat and a singer. I have done musicals and been a soloist in Argentina. It's my own interpretation of the role. I'm lucky to be able to play the role, which I have at the moment. It's all about teamwork. Everyone on stage contributes to how I perform and how the audience sees us. The better we are, the more we push each other, the better the show.
Can you describe your role in Dralion?
My role is called L'Ame Force. It is the energy that unifies the four elements. It is the organizer of time in the show and it is omnipresent.
Is there a stand out part in the performance that is your favorite?
Yes, it is the first act in the show, the hand balancing. The song is called "Stella Errans." It shows the range of my voice as a tenor and the agility in the coloratura. This is the vocalist part of the song. It affects me deeply.
As an artist who is openly gay, have you ever faced adversity either personally or professionally?
No, never. The only personal adversity I faced was myself. When I had the wrong view of my sexuality because I thought it was wrong. I have never had a position on it. Sometimes people ask me if coming from a Latin country men were very machista and I have never felt that. My personal growth was just allowing me to be myself. I thought I would not be accepted but it was only in my head. Being gay on tour is not strange because I am so openly gay. I think it is fun to be myself and just be who I am. I want to keep learning and be open to everything.
What specifically do you hope that audience members walk away with from this performance?
I just hope they have a great time. That the time they have been at Dralion helped them to add to their lives, to embellish their existence. I hope when they leave the show that they believe in magic. They see people flying, jumping through hoops, a girl standing on one hand. It's magic and we get to live it every day. We are all capable of that and I hope that it helps people be more loving and more compassionate.
Cirque du Soleil's Dralion
August 22-26 • $35-162
1st Mariner Arena • 201 W. Baltimore St.