GD Travel Guide
Toursite (name/keyword)
eg: temple, park, golf,       mountain, resort . . . . . .
    Exchange Rate



   Home-Culture/Life/Edu-Arts & Artists
Arts & Artists
Culture News | People&Life | Education | Arts & Artists| GD Special
Chinese acrobatics leaps to modern age
Latest Updated by 2005-10-17 11:09:35

Acrobatics is one of the most ancient entertainment art forms for Chinese people. But many feel that such entertainment is outdated in the face of the quickening pace of Shanghai's modern cosmopolitan life.

A recent mega production boasting a budget of over 30 million yuan (US$3.7 million), however, hopes to change that notion.

The multimedia production entitled "ERA-Intersection of Time" (ERA) is touted as an unprecedented cutting-edge collaboration. For the first time, Shanghai Media Group, China Arts and Entertainment Group and Shanghai Circus World jointly invested in the project.

The production will be a regular performance in Shanghai Circus World, the city's largest venue for acrobatics performance, according to China Arts and Entertainment Group. The first performance season will end on November 18.

The three major organizers have invited experts from the world-leading circus troupe "Le Cirque du Soleil" to produce the spellbinding show that hopes to reinvent traditional Chinese acrobatics.

The multimedia production entitled "ERA-Intersection of Time" (ERA) is now showing at Shanghai Circus World.

"China has entered a dynamic period of development," said Zhang Yu, president of China Arts and Entertainment Group. "It is at the crossroads between its glorious history and its promising future. We hope by combining the use of multimedia technology with traditional Chinese acrobatic arts, music and props, ERA is redefining the Asian formula of acrobatics and performing arts."

He noted that's also the major reason they named the production "ERA," suggesting the changing of the times. Besides acrobatics, it also refers to Shanghai's past, present and future.

Audience response

Doubts remain on whether such a long-running production would attract enough spectators to make it profitable.

But the audience reaction on the world premiere of the production on September 28 may prove the naysayers wrong.

"ERA has totally changed my impression of acrobatic performances," said Xu Xiaobo, a white-collar employee of a foreign-funded company.

Previously, Xu thought the acrobatic performance would only attract children and foreign visitors who are not familiar with Chinese acrobatics.

"But when I saw two acrobats one male and one female who were dangling from the roof with silks dancing in the air with a variety of graceful movements, I was mesmerized."

Xu said she would bring her boyfriend to watch the performance for a second time, as she wants to relive the romantic moments in the production.

Zhang, the president of China Arts and Entertainment Group, was not surprised about the warm response to the show.

"That is the exact feedback we have anticipated to obtain," he said, smiling proudly.

As a highly successful performance agent, Zhang pointed out that the name "ERA" is of high commercial value.

"Era is very simple and consequently easy to remember," he added. "And after all, it is good for the related merchandise of the show, such as T-shirts, ties, and other souvenirs."

Zhang emphasized that the commercial value can only be realized on the solid basis of a fine production with high artistic merit.

"The T-shirts of 'River Dance' are hot on sale and that is because the Irish tap dance production is very beautiful and touching," Zhang said.

Artistic value

To attain a high artistic value, the major organizers decided to invite renowned Canadian director Erick Villeneuve and choreographer Debra Brown and their teams.

"Villeneuve and Brown are both leaders in their respective work fields around the world," said Zong Ming, an official of Shanghai Media Group.

Villeneuve's excellence and the originality in his work are highly acclaimed in Canada and worldwide.

With more than 20 years of experience, he had created new and unique projection techniques, allowing him to change the use of the scenic environment.

Brown has won numerous awards like the Emmy Award for the work she did on the 74th annual Academy Awards, the prestigious Golden Clown at the 23rd World Circus Festival, and the Bob Fosse Innovative Choreography Award for her ongoing work with the world-renowned "Le Cirque du Soleil."

Villeneuve hopes that the audience will not only be amazed by the top Chinese acrobats' control and precision. He wants people to also be enchanted by the world that is created through the innovative use of advanced technologies, lighting and sound effects as well as elaborate costumes and original music.

A live band performs music by renowned composer and guitarist Michel Cusson solely written for ERA.

"Music is very important for a grand production like ERA," Cusson said, adding that he thinks music and production go together like salt and a dish.

After she saw the premiere, Annouk Ruffo Leduc, a Canadian executive working in Shanghai, said that the music is in perfect harmony with each of the acrobats' stunning moves.

Leduc's comment was echoed by some foreign tourists who also watched the performance.

"Apart from the music, lighting, and stage design, the Canadian experts encourage the acrobats to show their real emotions and their personalities besides their stunts," said Zhu Laidi, who works for Shanghai Circus World.

Villeneuve's words "A 1,000-year-old gesture is worth 1,000 emotions, 1,000 images, 1,000 words" have substantially heightened the passion of the young, albeit excellent, acrobats in the show.

Liu Wei, who was proud to be one of the acrobats in the production, recalled: "Eric and Debra are so different from other directors. They always encourage us to think what emotion we want to pass on to the audience when we make certain movements."

Editor: Wing

By: Source:China Daily Website
- Relevant Stories -
Designer to record city with photos
Foreigners admire harmony, peace in Chinese arts
Second Beijing Int'l Biyearly
[Guangzhou] Cultural shows for holidays
This site contains material from other media for content enrichment purpose only.
The website do not endorse such content and do not bear the joint responsibility of their copyright infringement.
The views expressed in written material posted to the bulletin boards of are those of the authors and/or publishers. The website does not endorse information products posted by organizations and individuals here. The originators of these information products are solely responsible for their content.
For copyright infringement issues, you shall contact within thirty (30) days. Email:
Home | News | Brief Business | PRD | Gov Info | Cities & Towns | Culture/Life/Edu | Travelling | Enjoy Life | Pictures | Specials
About Us | Contact Us |
© registered number 020074 | ICP Certificate No.B2-20050252
If you find any error in this page, please drag your mouse to mark the text with error, then press "CTRL" and "ENTER", to inform us. Thanks for your help!