Shanghai Circus Returns to The MACC

January 16, 2015, 11:07 AM HST · Updated January 16, 11:12 AM
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Shanghai Circus. Courtesy photo.

Shanghai Circus. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

The Maui Arts & Cultural Center welcomes the return of the Shanghai Circus, onstage in the Castle Theater on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 19 and 20.

Three show times are scheduled: on Monday (Martin Luther King holiday), shows are at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; on Tuesday, the show is at 7 p.m.

The Shanghai Circus features fearless performers with boundless energy and amazing skill. They bring new interpretations to traditional Chinese circus arts—some thousands of years in the making.

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The acrobats, jugglers, knife-throwers, contortionists, and other skilled performers of the Shanghai Circus dedicate their life to the achievement of perfection as they defy gravity and execute breathtaking feats of balance and skill.

These acts are staged with traditional Chinese props and themes, but in the spirit of the “new circus,” all of this is accomplished with 21st century flair–nouvelle costumes, dramatic lighting, and magical stagecraft.

The daring and rigorously-trained performers of the Shanghai Circus follow a 2,500-year-old tradition of circus arts in China, developed from ancient rural village harvest celebrations. In the autumn, both peasants and craftsmen would join in the village square for a celebration of bountiful harvest. Common people would show off their skills by performing fun and exciting feats of derring-do, using household tools and common items found around the farm and workshop. Climbing to the top of a tall stack of chairs, spinning plates on the end of a long bamboo stick, balancing small wooden benches on their head, juggling huge pottery jars, flipping bowls with their feet, climbing tall poles and long leather straps … these and most other traditional Chinese acrobatic acts were derived from the lifelong skills of the village peasants, river sailors and local craftsmen. As skills developed, the traditions passed from generation to generation to become the feats of strength, balance and grace that define the unique circus traditions of China.

Food and beverages will be available before the evening shows in Yokouchi Founders’ Court. Tickets are $12, $25, and $35, with a discount available to MACC donors in the ‘Ohia Level and above.

For tickets call 242-SHOW (7469) or book online at MauiArts.org.

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