Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Elven archers everywhere!

On our last night in Beijing, we attend the acrobats. Let it suffice to say that we have the same reaction there as we did to the tea house in Chengdu: wow. It is a sight to behold, men stacking chairs three stories high, lifting themselves by a single arm atop the pile. Over a dozen women riding a single bicycle in a circle as they climb around upon each other. Boys who cannot be teenagers flinging themselves through hoops like arrows. It is amazing, and I, for one, am amazed. Most impressive is the theatricity of it all. The choice of music, lighting, and costumes is sometimes over the top, but it all works together to heighten the tension of even the simplest trick. It reminds me greatly of Cirque, but with fewer safety precautions and no singing.

I consider both omissions to be beneficial. Three cheers for Chinese acrobats!

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