Director Jewels: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents DRAGONS {Review}

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents DRAGONS {Review}

Disclosure: I received free tickets to the show for my family in exchange for writing an honest review. No other compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.


Is it hard to believe that neither my husband or I had been to the circus before now? When we had the opportunity to take our kids to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents DRAGONS at the Kansas City Sprint Center last week, I think it's safe to say that we were more excited than they were.


Lincoln's first visit to the Sprint Center was for Disney on Ice earlier this year, but Adelaide had never been. I love the building's design - how cool that we get to take our kids to such a fun place!


Since none of us had been to a circus before, I was really unsure what to expect. I mean, I knew there would be animals - okay, I knew there would be elephants. I figured there would be acrobats. And naturally there would be some clowns. And that is about where my circus knowledge ended. So, to say we were in for a surprise would be putting it mildly.


It turns out, there's a reason this event is called The Greatest Show on Earth!  The opening number blew me away. The ring and surrounding area was filled to overflowing with animals and performers and it was completely impossible to see everything! Led by ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, the circus troupe smiled, danced, and sang - and I knew we were going to have a great time.

To appreciate the experience, you truly have to be there - but I will try to touch on the highlights!


The motorcycle high-wire act - performed by Alex Petrov and the Medeiros Troupe was Lincoln's favorite part. We were seated on one side of the arena, and I think we were all shocked when this act zipped out in front of us. I didn't even know it was possible for a motorcycle to ride a wire - and in this act, they not only rode it, they flipped it 360 degrees. You have to see it to believe it.


The Big Cats segment was amazing! We were astonished at how many cats were in Alexander Lacey's act. I'd never seen cats perform before, and it was phenomenal to watch them.


I don't have photos of all of the acts, as most of them were so fast and amazing that my camera didn't cooperate. The performers of Clown Alley were especially hard to capture, since they were almost always moving! We loved their antics and the Rapunzel-esque rescue scene (featuring Paulo dos Santos). The only thing I didn't love about the circus was in this segment as well, though - the use of "I'm Sexy and I Know It" seemed out of place in a family-friendly performance. The children in the seats all around me were dancing and jumping to the music and I found that song an odd and inappropriate choice.   


I think I was most astounded by the Medeiros Troupe. During both their high-wire motorcycle act and the double-hair hang act, my mouth hung open in complete amazement. I'm a theatre person, so I know a lot about stage tricks. I lost count of how many times I was shocked and amazed during the circus, but these acts had me especially flabbergasted.


The beautiful elephants did not diappoint! The kids were intrigued and excited. Seriously? Amazing stuff.


Addie actually paid attention even more than Lincoln! Every time the audience clapped and cheered, she was delighted and clapped her hands along with them. Lincoln's attention span was a little bit shorter, however. He watched the animal acts and adored the motorcycles - but was determined to get up and dance or shout or jump right down in the ring with the performers the rest of the show. I can't say I'm super surprised - he never wants to sit still! I think he did pretty well considering the length of the show and his age (two and a half).


The Torres Family brought their amazing, death-defying motorcycle act out near the end of the show, and it definitely captured Lincoln's attention again. These brave souls perform with eight motorcycles inside a 16-feet steel sphere and their speeds can reach up to 65mph. I sat with my mouth gaping open and my heart in my throat as I watched this performance!


Andrew said that his favorite part of the show was probably the Cossacks - a spectacular horse and rider act that featured a five-man pyramid and an underbelly climb - where the rider climbs under and back over the horse while his horse is galloping full speed. It was unlike anything I have ever seen!


Some of our other favorites were The Flying Caceres, Kung Fu Kings (can we talk about how one of these guys wore a blindfold and jumped through a spinning ring of swords and fire? Oh my goodness!), and the Kiev Aerial Troupe. Each act was more incredible than the last and if it hadn't been past the kids' bedtime, I could have watched for hours and hours more.


The dragon featured at the end of the show was appropriately beautiful and ferocious. We did wish there had been a little more on the dragon theme throughout the show. The music throughout focused on the spirit of the dragon - I just would have liked to see more actual dragons, given the title of the show. Not a big complaint, however - since I loved every minute of the show!


Our first family trip to the circus was a success - and we are all super excited to go back again next time the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus rolls into town!

Huge thanks to Feld Entertainment for providing my family's tickets to the show.  I received no other compensation and all views expressed are my own.  For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

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