Tipped to be Shanghai’s signature multimedia event “ERA: The Intersection of Time” is no ordinary theatrical performance in China’s largest city. As a multi-million dollar production that encompasses traditional and modern acrobatics, dance, music and other gravity defying performance art forms this multimedia love story is a must-see for all theatre and music lovers visiting the Paris of the East. A popular show among locals and visitors alike this mega Shanghai event is akin to France’s Cirque du Soleil in terms of its overwhelming popularity and the multitude of viewers it draws to each performance.
Held at the Shanghai Circus World Arena which was modeled after the US’s famed Epcot Centre the show’s special requirements saw the massive stadium renovated in 2005 in preparation for the staging of ERA. Fully equipped with digital water curtains, a revolving stage, mirrored cage and a state-of-the-art computerized lighting system Shanghai Circus World is the only venue that can stage an elaborate production of the scope and scale of ERA. Directed by Erick Villeneuve to the music of Michel Cusson the Emilie Therrien choreographed production is truly an international theatrical effort with global appeal.
Audiences can expect to see the country’s top dancers and acrobats perform aerial walks, flying trapeze acts, caged motorcycle stunts, bowl balancing acts and trampoline skits in addition to elements of traditional Chinese acrobatics. A 6m x 11m cylindrical mirror cage and 8 x 18 metre curtain of water created on stage are just some of the visual highlights of the show which also includes a suspended wheel 10m above ground, a floating gondola and motorcycle antics performed within a 6.8m steel globe.
The thematic core of the show is of course a poignant love story that spans dimensions of time from China’s illustrious past to its industrious future as a contemplation across generations. Travelling through space and time the acrobats are in search of the illusive point of balance, the intersection of time and space. Performed to the infectious rhythms of live Chinese and western orchestral music this one of a kind visual celebration is a must-see highlight that is not just reserved for culture buffs.
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