Ruth and I have been to stunning shows all over the world. We have experienced performances at the Marinsky in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires among others. But if you ask me to name the most entertaining show I have ever seen while traveling, I would have to say that Shanghai Circus World tops them all. One person who saw this show called it phenomenal and cheesy, getting it perfectly right. It’s both in equal measure.
Circus wonders are performed nightly in Shanghai, often called China’s Circus City, in a large, permanent theater on Gonghexin Road. The venue is so large that 1,638 people can see it nightly, and it was sold out on the weeknight we attended with Tom. It’s so popular that it has its own metro stop, which is the best and least expensive way to access it. Traveling on Shanghai’s metro system is an experience in itself. We were told that the metro is a great way to get around the city but to avoid it during rush hour. Of course, we had to test this and experienced at 5 pm an almost indescribable crush of humanity. At times we moved with no personal effort.
When Ruth & I visited my cousin in Shanghai, he insisted on treating us to the Chinese circus, an act of generosity for which I am still grateful. It’s not hard to get tickets. Americans who are planning to visit Shanghai can even buy tickets to this Chinese Circus on Tripadvisor.
The show we saw was multimedia to the extreme with motorcycles in cages and aerialists performing seemingly impossible feats every minute. The performance combined traditional Chinese arts with modern entertainment dazzle. The well-trained gravity-defying performers always moved with enviable control and precision. The show can last from 100 minutes to 2 hours, and the performance we saw included martial arts, dance, everything in continuous sense-stirring action. If you ever get the chance to see a Chinese circus performance, expect delightful lighting, constant movement, and thrilling special effects that are routinely unexpected.
The appropriate, overused word employed by most people to describe this experience is amazing. It truly was!