29 August 2006

This globe can fit 8 motorcycles - Our lives are so boring

It takes an intrepid trio to check out something that has a high chance of turning out kitschy or eyebrow-raisingly boring, but good old Mr L and Ms Y were game enough to go to the Shanghai Circus with me after I told them that my new Estonian friend Ms T had raved about it. All I knew from Ms T was that it was like more like a musical than a circus (a la Cirque de Soleil), and that there would be a fantastic performance at the end involving 8 motorcycles in a globe cage.

Now, "fantastic" in my mind connotates just excited happiness - the way my France trip was fantastic or the night out was fantastic. But to really describe the Shanghai circus performance, you have to add in a liberal dose of "crazy", so that it becomes either crazily fantastic or fantastically crazy.

You will see what I mean when you look at the picture. Those whirls of lights are not just lights; they are the headlights of 5 motorcycles (at least) circling and criss-crossing inside the globe at goodness knows what km/h. Oh, and two of these crazy daredevil performers are girls - very pretty girls beneath the terracotta costume.


By the end of the show, we were left in a daze, gaping and shaking our head.

Mr L, who had to end his vacation in Shanghai in less than 24 hours, was the first to speak: "Our lives are so boring man."

Ms Y quipped, "Yah, I knew it was a mistake to give up my childhood dream of becoming a trapeze perfomer."

And so throughout the journey home, we kept thinking how boring our work was... Darn, why do we have to go back to work the next morning?

To be fair, the show was not all adrenaline-rushing. But it was very well-done in that the momentum crescendo-ed well and the acts had a touch of unusualness about them. The usual plate twirlers and urn balancers you expect of Chinese circuses were still there, but they were only space-fillers while the centrepieces got ready. There were also all these little touches that make you go 'Oh!'. Like having tiny contortionists burrow out of the big urn meant for the balancing act... Or casting the balancing acts behind a screen and playing with big and small shadows. I particularly liked the trapeze love story - it reminded me of a scene in the Chouinard performance I saw earlier, only better, more lyrical, and more challenging. The couple was flying 15-30 meters in the air, holding on to only a foot or an arm... It is hard not to fall dizzyingly in love.

More pictures » here, in the event my power of persuasion is inadequate to convince you that this is a to-do for Shanghai...

1 comment:

  1. Hello!

    Mad motorcyclists, I bet that was fun to watch.

    I hope you are keeping well 'over there', greeting from wet old 'over here'!

    Bye Bye!