Having covered a lot of show nightlife in Beijing and the rest of China. We want to convince you that it is for a reason. Having extensively traveled in Japan, and the Koreas.. well, they also have amazing shows and nightlife. What China has however is something that’s hard to describe but it’s very Chinese. It’s almost tacky, but combined with the kind of skill and fanaticism that tops out the rest of the show world. Of course the productions are going fast forward, such as our most favorite, the Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show that is known for breaking the boundaries of the physical capabilities of acrobatic theatre. But no matter how much they can afford to put into the production and no matter how they evolve.. they will never become a western-like big stage production.
There is an obvious reason for that of course and that answer can be found from the Chaoyang Theatre management that is ALL CHINESE. Yes, they might collaborate with some foreign productions and such. Yet especially a traditional acrobatics theatre of this magnitude, will have too much pride to let go of their strong Chinese-minded influence. Especially when a lot of the management is pretty old and long time players, meaning of having roots in Chinese culture. Besides that, there is plenty of connections going around and landing a job at the biggest Beijing acrobatic show is going to require good friends. So depending on the level of friendship you have with them, you can get your word in and actually influence the evolution of the show. It’s a really funny and complicated sequence of events that lead to what would be known in the west as “decision making”. Yet, it’s not the most ethical or fair environment.. and don’t get me started on the treatment of the performers themselves.
Nevertheless it is this very unique mess of a system that prevails in Beijing as well as the rest of China that makes the theatre nightlife scene a very cool place to be. Might sound a little contradictory, but that’s what it really is. A contradiction on top of another, with sometimes so many difficult decisions that are made. The outcome is now a quite mixed, with definitely some problems with the productions fluidity. You can see that they are actually trying hard to become a western production, and failing at it as well. This kind of awkward situation makes the show so much fun.. there is just nothing like it. A perfect acrobatic production would never be as much fun as this one.
And it’s all good really.. since the feats and the act itself is simply mind blowing. I still cant get my mind around accepting the all the amazing acrobatic stunts that they perform in the show. So no matter how much of a “funny chinese” feeling it will get into.. the acts themselves at the Chaoyang Theatre will not be easily beaten.
We wil leave you with a few amazing highlights from the acrobatics show!
Enjoy and see you next time at the three cools!