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State of the art

Catch the unmissable Chinese State Circus at the Lowry this weekend before it goes!

Published on February 2nd 2007.

State of the art

Forget bearded women and dancing elephants, the talk of the town at the moment is the Chinese State circus. This daddy of all circuses is brought to this country by the same company responsible for the excellent Moscow State Circus.

In Chinese tradition, acrobats begin intense training at as young as four years old and from then on, they train for about two or three hours a day just to keep their fitness up. You can most definitely tell. The performances are polished to perfection.

The highlight of the show had to be the dancing lions which had the audience ‘ooooing’ and ‘ahhhhing’ in admiration! The ease with which the two acrobats display balance, co-ordination and strength combined into one, all within the lion's costume, is beyond belief.

The circus also features the amazing Shaolin Wu-Shu Warriors. Anyone who can smash a brick over their head, lie on a bed of nails whilst having a concrete slab smashed with a sledge hammer on top of them and then stand up smiling, deserves a medal. Apparently these martial arts marvels are rarely seen performing live, so it’s defiantly not to be missed.

There are touches of pantomime humour for the kids with the Monkey King Ring Master, and spectacular pole balancing which sees the warriors leaping from pole to pole at astonishing heights. No harnesses. No helmets. Sheer skills transformed into jaw dropping entertainment.

The Chinese version of the traditional circus tight rope, ‘Chinese slack wire’, takes rope acrobatics to the next level as we see the gymnast cycling on a hand unicycle and also balancing on his head. All this and more, with musical soundtrack provided by the spectacular Peking Opera.

If you haven’t managed to see the circus yet, don’t worry, it’s still showing at the Lowry on Friday 2nd February at 5pm and 8pm, Saturday 3rd Feb at 2pm and 7.30pm and on Sunday 4th February at 2pm and 5pm. Tickets range from £8.00 - £20.00

Lynda Moyo

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