Friday, December 31, 2010

WATCH! Splendide: The Grand China National Acrobatics Circus

After watching the political and media circuses in 2010, it occurred to me that there seemed to be no better way to either cap an ending year or start off the new one than watching a real circus.  And so I did with my wife, my three year old, and yaya in tow.

The Splendide: The Grand China National Acrobatics Circus was an ABSOLUTE THRILL to watch! (And you better line up at the Araneta Center to catch the show because they're going to be here TILL JANUARY 3 -- which is their FINAL extension date.)

ON JANUARY 3, 2011, 6:00PM
Photo found at
Having been conditioned by years of watching movies with lots of special effects and astounding real life videos on websites, I really didn't know what to expect.

I couldn't form a frame of reference because I couldn't even remember the last time I watched an acrobatic performance LIVE and in the flesh.  For that matter, I don't think I went to a show that featured just acrobatic performances EVER.  

My wife, on the other hand, had her expectations set.  When I told her that we were getting tickets to the Splendide: The Grand China National Acrobatics Circus, she said that when she was a kid, she had gotten used to seeing Chinese acrobatic performances in her home province Marinduque.  My wife, who is half Chinese (till this day I haven't discovered which half of her is Chinese), recounts that the local Chinese community would bring them in and have them entertain the towns people for free during fiestas.

But when the colored lights started to give the stage inside the Coliseum an other-worldly glow and the music started welling up in a tide of notes to shrill and so deep it felt like your organs were dissolving, that's when we felt our jaws drop and knew that the magic of the stage had suddenly transported us out into another world.

Photo from Tessa's Album on Facebook

It was a world where there seemed to be no gravity and time stretched in several different directions all at once.

If you were ever a fan of The Matrix (like I am), it would be easy to see that such acrobatic performances were really the basis for many of the mind bending stunts that you saw in the film.

Except, however, THE Splendide achieves all these seemingly superhuman acts without the aid of CGI, cuts, slow-mos, and other tools of electronic image wizardry.

Pole climbing acrobats
Take the pole climbing acrobats, for instance.  About a dozen of these guys climbed a thirty foot pole like spidermen and then started doing leaps between the poles that would make you gasp -- fearing they would fall.

A girl performing this same acrobatic act
fell in previous performance.
We felt our nails digging into our armrests
as we watched her twirl on the blue silk ropes.
What probably added more to our amazement were that the stunts they were performing could lead to serious injury or death. 

This is probably why it's a good idea for the show to issue a warning at the start of the show that people shouldn't perform these stunts at home.  

Then again, that is, if you assume that most people in the Philippines can actually have trampolines, trapeezes, and rope hanging from the ceilings of their houses.  (Sorry for that, I can't help but be a wise-ass.)

Don't live in this house without getting a tetanus shot first.

Then again, I think the warning shouldn't be issue to me, I consider a sit up a stunt even when it's to grab a beer off the table.

So, if you're watching out for something that is truly entertaining, you have to watch Splendide: The Grand China National Acrobatics Circus.

1 comment:

bp said...

great scott! great post! :)

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