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Swan Lake - Chinese Acrobatic Ballet (2008)

(คอนเสิร์ต)

 

Chinese Acrobatic Swan Lake

SWAN LAKE – The Acrobatic Sensation from Far East

 

   การแสดงบัลเลท์แสงสีเสียงสุดตระการตาจากจีน ที่ทั้งตื่นตาตื่นใจ ผสมผสานยิมนาสติก ชมความสามารถของเหล่านักแสดง มากฝีมือ

 

With breathtaking perfection and grace the “Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe of China” tells the fairytale on the verge of human physical abilities. More than 100 acrobats and dancers show their world-famous art in gorgeous and colorful stage designs and props. They are juggling with balls while they perform a toe dance. Gym wheels seem to waltz and acrobats thrill the audience by “dancing” as frogs for several minutes solely on their hands.
There seems to be no gravity, when the princess (Wu Zhengdan) is dancing en pointe not only on the shoulder of her beloved prince (Wei Baohua), but also on his head.
This production of “Swan Lake” unites power, perfection and grace in a magical way. In wonderful stage designs, classical music and tradition of ballet melt with Eastern acrobatic to a unique show.
 




During their first tour in the beginning of 2008 they not only thrilled 70,000 spectators but also the viewers of Europe´s most popular TV-show “Wetten dass…?”. In the end of 2008 the outstanding artists of the “Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe of China” will be again on tour with “Swan Lake”.

Only true love can rescue the enchanted princess from the spell of the evil wizard – since the debut performance of “Schwanensee” in 1877 in the Bolshoi Theatre this ballet is part of the repertoire of all classical ballet companies.

With breathtaking perfection and grace the “Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe of China” tells the fairytale on the verge of human physical abilities. More than 100 acrobats and dancers show their world-famous art in gorgeous and colorful stage designs and props. They are juggling with balls while they perform a toe dance. Gym wheels seem to waltz and acrobats thrill the audience by “dancing” as frogs for several minutes solely on their hands. There seems to be no gravity, when the princess (Wu Zhengdan) is dancing en pointe not only on the shoulder of her beloved prince (Wei Baohua), but also on his head. With the “Pas de Deux” the couple won the “Golden Clown Trophy” at the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo 2002.
This production of “Swan Lake” unites power, perfection and grace in a magical way. In wonderful stage designs, classical music and tradition of ballet melt with Eastern acrobatic to a unique show.

 


 

Having seen countless versions of Swan Lake, for me, nothing has quite lived up to Matthew Bourne’s genre-busting vision of this feathery classic.

Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe Of China’s fast and loose, visual treat certainly leaves you feeling like you have not seen it all before.

Purists may balk at some of the new additions, but by adding acrobats, jugglers, jumping jacks, human wheels, uni-cyclists and rollerskaters means that there is never a dull moment. It is not a show without flaws, though. There are so many short, sharp scene changes that unsurprisingly stage hands cannot keep up, leading to a few technical hitches on opening night.

Also, by delivering a concept, proving that China has indeed got talent means that any lulls in the narrative seem to last forever, due to the break-neck pace that has come before. But, like true professionals, the talented cast are completely unfazed, delivering exemplary performances, defying gravity and a sense of logic, leaving you scratching your head, thinking “How did they they do that?”

Wu Zhengdan’s swan-princess stands on a man’s head on tip toe, perfectly poised, never once looking in any danger. This is one of many gob-smacking moments which is literally breathtaking to watch. Another highlight features men climbing poles like monkeys and a hat-swapping section which is superbly synchronised by a team of ladies in red.

Many members of the audience loved the acrobatic young boy who jumps like one of Pixar’s Incredibles; this cast could play super-heroes without the aid of C.G.I, as they seem to have elasticated limbs.

There is plenty of humour to stop this beautifully realised show resembling an extended Royal Variety Performance act. I loved the nods and winks to the original classic tale, as it does remind you of Bourne and his affection for ballet as an art form.

Sure, there are too many scene changes and to be honest, a few short pointless elements which do nothing to drive the narrative, should be cut. But, this mixture of Monkey- Journey Into The West, Matthew Bourne and Cirque Du Solei (minus the awful clowns!) has enough jaw-dropping moments to cover any visible cracks with ease.

The audience on the night I attended (including, Germaine Greer) gave the show a rousing reception, and deservedly so, as Chinese Acrobatic Swan Lake leaves you walking on air.

Dazzling stuff!

-Glenn Meads

 

 


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