Shanghai Acrobats

Borrowing heavily from traditional Chinese circus but projecting a modern twist with its marvellous two hour extravaganza, originally directed by Cirque Du Soleil’s Guy Caron, combines acrobatics, modern dance, original music, martial arts and many other Chinese elements in an amazing adventure, with plenty of gasp-worthy moments for the audience. I can only put it into words as a total experience.


The story centres around a little girl who awakes to the sound of a noisy Shanghai street. In a half-dreamy state, she starts to imagine being an acrobat and gets taken into the world of the acrobat and begins to participate.
Because it is Cirque du Ciel (circus of the sky) then there is a lot of aerial stuff going on I particularly loved the dramatic silks where a girl just plunges from the gods down towards the stage, a drop of 30ft or more, just fantastic stuff.


The show used a mixture of recorded music and an onstage drummer, I thought the choice of music really helped the show create an atmosphere and the energy of the drummer was brilliant.



We sat there stunned to see the talents of a girl who contorts and stretches her body through yet-to-be-invented angles while supporting herself on one hand at the top of a six-foot high pole; a ballerina who stands en pointe on top of her partner’s head and then the skills of à la the Guandong Acrobatic Troupe; a posse of young men who leap through hoops and fling each other across the stage with somersaults, twists and impossible landings and who were an inexhaustible supply of wonder.



More sedate, but arguably the highlight of the whole evening, were the charming canton of girls with their diabolos. You’ve probably seen buskers at Covent Garden hurl their overgrown yo-yos high in the air and catch them on their bits of string to great applause. But have you seen them do a bit of skipping and a couple of somersaults while waiting for it to come back down and more breathtakingly in unison?



The whole show just took my breath away and left me wanting more, a great afternoon spent in Kingston Rose theatre with Wayne.