The Greatest Show on Earth
Beijing Acrobatic Show
You can forgive anyone born post-1980 for thinking Cirque de Soleil invented and perfected the gymnastic circus entertainment so familiar today, but the tradition of elaborate, seemingly impossible gravitational feats, extreme juggling and contortion have been alive and flourishing in Chinese culture for centuries. Indeed as far back as the Han dynasty, Emperor Wui (141 BC to 87 BC) was famed for holding grand shows set to music, by the Tang dynasty acrobatics were considered an integral part of the Imperial court’s entertainment, and by the late C.19th the fame of Chinese acrobats had spread throughout the globe.
Today, there are few better places to see these awe-inspiring and often breathtaking feats of skill than at Beijing’s own, purpose-built Chaoyang Theatre, established in 1984, where over 3 million people have witnessed the now world-famous Flying Acrobatic Show. With acts as diverse and original as bicycle acrobatics, disk rotating and plate spinning, hoop jumping, bowl kicking, diabolo spool and umbrella juggling, chair balancing, the giant spring-board, contortion and motorcycle ‘ Loops of Death’ plus all the spectacle of fabulously ornate and colourful props and costumes. If you’re juggling kids or a busy schedule the 2 performances a day at 5.15pm and 7.15pm makes for a perfect afternoon for kids or evening for adults, just don’t try any of the tricks at home!