It’s the kind of place you can drive by dozens on of times and think, “I wonder if that show is any good?” At least, whenever I passed by the Beijing Chaoyang Theater at 36 Dongsanhuan Beilu and saw the posters for Acrobatics World, that’s what I wondered. Having recently attended a show with another family, I’m happy to say it is well worth visiting. Children and adults alike were riveted for the one-hour performance that is a blend of sheer strength, precision balance, elegant beauty, and a nail-biting finale. I had wondered if the four-year olds would sit still for an hour, but they easily could have stayed to watch the whole thing twice.
Make no mistake, the performance is an all out assault on the senses: flashy over-the-top costumes, adrenaline inducing music, and acrobatic feats that confound belief, but the show seeks to find balance with the “simple” elegance of half a dozen women feet juggling, and the incongruent grace of ten women forming a tower while riding together on one bicycle; all the while making it look so easy. The whole show finishes with not two or three, but five men riding motorbikes in a spherical cage doing loops and circles at breakneck speed and yet somehow they manage not to collide with one another.
Tickets at the box office for the two daily showings (5.15pm and 7.15pm) start at RMB 180, children under 1.1 meters are half price. But tickets from www.chaoyangtheatre.com are only RMB 80 each.