Tumbling dralions are Cirque de Soleil creatures that combine the dragon and the lion, representing the East and West.


Some might argue that Cirque du Soleil is fast becoming one of the greatest family shows on earth, and there is some merit in that.

Consider: Since its first show in 1984, more than 100 million people around the globe have seen a Cirque show live.

And tens of millions more will see it on the big screen in James Cameron's upcoming 3D film "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away," set for release in theaters Dec. 21.

Of course there's nothing like seeing a Cirque show live - with all the fabulous costumes, lights and mind-boggling physical feats performed right before your eyes.

"Dralion" is the newest show in Cirque's growing repertoire. Here's what you can expect:

• East meets West: Dralion combines 3,000-year-old Chinese acrobatic arts with more contemporary Western acrobatics in a mystical show of nature and humanity. Air, water, fire and earth take on human forms in a quest to find balance between man and nature.

• The characters: Azala (Air), Gaya (Earth), Oceane (Water), Yao (Fire), The Clowns, Little Buddha, Kala and The Vocals - L'Ame-Force.

• Prepare to be dazzled: Colorfully outfitted acrobat artists will twist, contort, spin, jump, flip and glide. And then there's the tumbling dralions - creatures that combine the dragon (representing the East) and the lion (representing the West). This is the show's super-hyper energy: Artists perform acrobatic moves while balancing on large wooden balls as the dralions surround them performing a spirited dance.

• Reviews are in: "One visual gravity-defying stunner after another," says The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Fascinating, eye-catching medley of cross-cultural pollination, and there is a lot of magic at work," says Chicagotheaterbeat.com

If you go

• What: Cirque du Soleil "Dralion."

• When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and next Thursday; 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 and Nov. 24; 1 and 5 p.m. Nov. 25.

• Where: Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave.

• Tickets: $35 to $145 through ticketmaster.com