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Friday, February 26, 2021

Cirque du Soleil plans September return to Qatar

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With reporting from Penny Yi Wang

After making its debut in Doha last summer with Saltimbanco, legendary performers Cirque du Soleil have announced plans to hold six new shows at the Aspire Dome this fall.

This time, the Canadian-based company will perform Dralion from Thursday, Sept. 19 to Saturday, Sept. 21.

East meets West

The show, which first debuted in 1999 and combines elements of traditional Chinese circus with Western contemporary circus in an “East-meets-West” theme, is named after a combination of the words “dragon and “lion:”

In Dralion, the four elements that govern the natural order take on a human form. Thus embodied, each element is represented by its own evocative colour: air is blue; water is green; fire is red; earth is ochre. In the world of Dralion, cultures blend, Man and Nature are one, and balance is achieved.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Thursday), June 6, and range from QR250 to QR2,000.

The performance is being supported by the Qatar Tourism Authority, along with SDI Marketing and Chevrolet. It is among a number of renowned international shows that Qatar is hosting this year, including Stomp! and Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic.

Mixed reviews

Last July, Saltimbanco debuted to nearly sold-out shows in Qatar. It got rave reviews from some fans, but there were complaints from others about the venue – namely, Aspire’s uncomfortable plastic seats.

Saltimbanco was Cirque du Soleil’s longest running performance when it closed at the end of 2012 in Montreal, the home of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Qatar recently attempted to woo the United Nations body to move its headquarters to Doha, but withdrew the offer following Canada’s angry response. 

Acknowledging the recent tensions, André Dubois, the Canadian ambassador to Qatar, told reporters yesterday that Cirque du Soleil is the ambassador of Canadian culture and that it is crucial to establish a sound relationship between the two countries.

Here’s more about Dralion:

Who’s going? Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Daniel Demarais

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