Behind the Scenes with Cirque

What would it be like to be a travelling circus performer?

Cary Magazine met with juggler Vladik Myagkostupov from Cirque du Soliel’s East-meets-West tale, Dralion, coming to Raleigh Aug. 15-19, for a video interview.

Originally from the Ukraine, 28-year-old Myagkostupov’s parents were also circus performers, and he began traveling with them at just 8 months old.

When talent scouts from Cirque du Soleil saw his acrobatic juggling act, they asked him to join the show, and he has been traveling with the spellbinding circus for five years.

See Myagkostupov show off his talents in our studio in our behind-the-scenes video.

Blending dragons from the East and lions from the West, Dralion draws heavily from ancient Chinese acrobatic arts, with 50 percent of acrobats hailing from China. In total, 15 countries are represented in the 54-person cast, ranging from 18 to 52 years old.

“We have former Olympians and competitors in the cast,” said Cirque publicist Julie Desmarais. They will showcase an array of captivating high-level acrobatics, gravity-defying feats, contortion and other awe-inspiring acts.

A band of six musicians produce a strong blend of world beats with instruments such as the violin, cello, drums, electric and classical guitars, and keyboard for every performance.

As much a work of art as a display of strength and grace, Dralion boasts an interesting array of costumes that include window screen, emu feathers, styrofoam, plastic, bubble wrap and an array of hardware items, among other oddities. And in total, the costumes require 2 1/2 18-wheeler trucks to transport from location to location each week.

Dralion will visit Raleigh’s PNC Arena for seven performances Aug. 15-19.

Tickets may be purchased from the box office of the PNC Arena, by calling 1 (800) 745-3000, or via


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