We wanted to do something fun and while there are a lot of new exciting venues such as the Golden Mask Dynasty Show that we were talking about before.. new year is all about tradition and respecting things that are already familiar to you. At least this is the way we interprate things since year after year, we see Chinese do exactly the same things. That is of course, exactly what we set out to do as well.
In China, mostly known as acrobatics but also to cator a western understanding of the word Beijing Circus is pretty much one of the most awesome things that have landed to this city in a long time. It’s really like western circus, except exploding with a thousand year history of Chinese performing arts. Put together with modern music, dance and even modernised feats that blow your mind. Well, Beijing theater doesn’t get that much better than that.
In the states, the tradition is a little bit similar.. at least in LA where one of the China Mogul members grew up. Going to see some circus performance, such as Circue de Soleil was a common occurence during new year. But in China, of course with the huge population is extremely useful to have a week long new year so people actually have a change to see the show. Either way, the Chaoyang Theater had been booked full long before. Even with three daily shows for the whole long, explosive week.. you needed to reserve your tickets before that. Oh well, there is always a change next year for those who missed this opportunity.. which of couse is an opportunity that we would never miss if we are in Beijing for the new year.
This Beijing Circus Troupe, also known as Beijing Acrobatic Troupe has been showing visitors from all over the world, what are the capabilites of Chinese arts. But now it’s time for the crowd to be dominated by the Chinese. I guess it’s because not that many foreigners dare to go to Beijing for the new year seson and tend to go to more quiet and easier places to celebrate it. Well, if I wound’t have to work I also would go to the countryside.. but that’s not a luxury that that sometimes even all the Chinese can enjoy.
The show consists of several incredible acts, like traditional lion dancing, tight-wire tricks, traditional Chinese conjuring, hoop diving, spring-board feats, amazing juggling, gymnastics and many many more! The whole repertoir is filled with all kinds mind boggling feats.. and especially during new year, with the heightened atmosphere.. get ready to be astonished by the unbelieavable.
All in all, it’s been a good one this year. Circus tricks really nailed the night, food is great as always and there were no accidents with fireworks. Being safe has become one of the main priorities for us, since in the past years there has been quite a few, fortunately small accidents. But we don’t need that.. we want to have fun, enjoy theater and mostly stick to the Chaoyang district that has served the China Mogul pretty well.
We will leave you with a few amazing shots from the acrobatic show. Have a good one friends!
If you are a foreigner living in China, most likely you have to ask yourself one very important question. That is, why are you living there. If you can answer that one simple but sometimes rather difficult question, you can stay. If not, you will most likely leave unless you are just running away from something. This is how it goes with foreigners here.. but for the Chinese who were born here, they don’t need to ask that. It’s like they don’t even think that there could be an opportunity to leave China. That is just the majority of course.
While China has achieved it’s mogul status with a loud intro, it is not always so clear why we stay here. It’s like something that you can certainly take advantage of or benefit from. Unfortunately a big amount of business men are simply benefiting from it, or at least trying to. Yet everything has it’s consequences, especially in such a hugely powerful and important country such as China.
For most of us, we came here because of work. But as with all company transfers, there comes a time when you are nolonger needed in China. But still for some reason you stay, to fight and live. Sometimes it’s love, but often enough it is not just that. For many of us, we just got used to living here and going back to the good old America wasn’t so good old anymore. Having seen the world from a different perspective, you change.. and that change is often permanent.
While it might seem scary to some, it is those very people who are also scared of the Chinese mogul might. Those people, who don’t dare to enter their feet into the red republic, yet feed from the economic aspect of it all. Once you jump the wall, you hopefully learn something. Many of those who simply return to their homes, might have not learned.. which to us who stay here is an incredible achievement. Like you have to go through and live in this country blindfolded.
Why the China Mogul? Because we saw something different and became something different. And just the benefit of the distance from over-ordinary everyday life.. gave us something more to live by and live for. That’s why I at least think that I am staying here. Love and work follows.
Thanks for listening and happy Chinese new year! Feeling inspired for the future.
Well, not exactly brand new as this has been going on for some years. But we have seen a renovation of the show and while it’s always been great, now it’s just amazing in what it has become. Just check out the many reviews on tripadvisor, people love it. Still however, not that many people go to see it as most visitors hunt for acrobatic with a limited schedule. If you are not that much into culture and you have some extra time, we at The China Mogul suggest you head on towards the much popular Happy Valley in Beijing. There boasts this “huge investment”, or in other words a state of the art high technology performing arts theatre the hosts the Golden Mask Dynasty Show in action!
It tells a magical story about the golden dynasty in China. While not exactly a real story, it is based on Chinese culture and all in all a captivating story that cannot be forgotten. Just forget to take some deep breaths in between the show, because it is famous for being extremely intense with high speed action and stunning choreography. There is no speaking, so visitors from all over can easily follow the story which is simple but brilliant. Actually, there is no such clear story line, but the performance really takes you with it. Now with the new equipment, smoke machines and huge projectors the intensity is taken once again up one step. Just when you thought you couldn’t do any better.
See the official show trailer at YouTube here:
Great things is, that you can combine your Beijing holiday together with OCT Theatre and the Happy Valley. Just for the valley action, you will be needing a family or child-like personalities. This very popular amusement park in Beijing is not that out of the ordinary, but surely a lot of fun. Either way the Golden Mask Dynasty Show itself is the one that will not disappoint, even for older people. So forget acrobatics for a night and find yourself in the magical world of an ancient Chinese dynasty for a night. As usual discount tickets available. Just getting there is not that easy, a little bit away from the center of Beijing. Xiaowuji North Rd will be where the taxi takes you for cheap as always!
Have a warm winter and happy new year!
The China Mogul
As many of our readers will already know we are big fans of the performing arts.. as well as, would like to broaden our horizons ever increasingly. There comes a time when we put down our pens and go to venture out into the unknown. But we are humans too and we have pre-asumptions about stuff, like what sucks and what not. But China is full of surprices, and sometimes we cannot stop laughing, yet other times we cannot close our mouths because of pure amazement. This is pretty ordinary stuff in China for us, although the experience is always new and fresh. It’s because the competition is tremendous in this country, which everyone wanting to make it. Of course in other countries too, there are a lot of career driven people.. but for the Chinese it’s a lot more than money, while they usually need the money most. There is a lot of pride involved, and failure is not an option. Sometimes the capacity is not enough because the country is behind in development. At other times, the innovation that arises from undevelopment is just something we think could not be described other than, “brilliant”!
So what is it that we have been laughing at.. is without a doubt, Peking Opera. The art that looks rediculous from the outside and is laughable from the inside. It really has made us curious and up to the point that we actually had to go and see if for our selves. Thus, we headed on to the Liyuan Theatre Opera venue which was suppose to be suitable for novice people like us. We found it extremely cultura and thought provoking, while getting the laughs at the same time. This is really an experience we had never had before.. because culture, was not to be fun right?! Well, Beijing finally proved us wrong. The opera here is something that makes you think, because it’s outrageous and extremely skillful. Everything has purpose, including all the funny faces and make up. Music is intense, and the stories are enchanting. What more could you want.
Our favorite story was the “DRUNKEN BEAUTY” which is a story of how being an idiot, can pay off. The teachings are simply incredible in these magical stories, and you can see that they were invented way before the times of Mao. Thank god.
So, Liyuan Theatre did give us hope, that there is hope in Opera. Especially in Beijing, China. Our HQ and favorite places to play of all time. But now again, it’s time to take the pen into our hands and get back to work as always. Forward we go!
The China Mogul Staff
As you might have already noticed.. We at China Mogul are always interested in modern trends, as well as local activities. The combination of the two, blended into a setting of a Chinese city makes it all very exiting. There is a lot to experience, as well as to cheer in many of the big and proud cities scattered all around China.
Shanghai is not one of the most well known without a reason. Recently we’ve been looking at buildings and Shanghai tops as one of the most interesting of examples. With structures of all shapes, sizes and most importantly heights popping up everywhere. Indeed the modern achievement in this city is more than overwhelming. The citizens should be proud however, the division of wealth has remained a touchy issue.
For those interested in architecture we rise one example above the rest. It is a world of circus as well as striking architecture, which awaits Shanghai visitors at the brilliant Shanghai Circus World building. This structure was erected a long time ago, when it was natural that the local acrobatic entertainment industry would need a new home along with the economic development.
Not with overseas economies struggling, the amount of tourists have become less. Some other less famous acrobatic venues, have had to shut down because of the lack of foreign customers. But Chinese are still spending, and thanks to them the Circus World remains strong in the mids of the Shanghai buzz.
As ancient as acrobatics is in China, it is for sure.. that for as long as the performances keep on going through the night of these cities.. we can say that the night life is going strong and China is well. When no more theatres are left, we can be confident that the state of the country is no good.
In fact we recommend visitors to join the circus and support the Shanghai economy!
No, seriously I still haven’t found out how to translate that word to the Chinese people. On the surfance, the mogul seems more occupied with income than vibrating to their new awareness.. but it’s there, the extravagance.
I mostly feel it in Shanghai.. I see people on the metro, they must have build very intertwined communities amongst each other. This “modern breed” of Chinese has a totally different feel to it. They are much cooler, no longer dress funnily.. they are not loud. They have funky hair styles and even seem polite.. and most importantly know how to party.
A lot of them.. speak English. And that’s the barrier I think. When more of this breed, is the type that only speaks Chinese.. then we start to see the effect on society in larger scales.. we start to see opinion flow in the country.
I mean, it’s already happening.. and a lot. Just inside such a massive country, it’s not enough. There should be more of it without a doubt. Extravagance that is!
Another brilliant star in the Beijing sky of acrobatics is Chaoyang Theatre that has been largely popular with both the Chinese and foreign crowds. With two shows on a daily basis, it’s not hard to catch a show to the time of your liking. The hassle is so big that they don’t even stop for the Chinese new year. The vibe is just fantastic!
As far as the stunts go, they would be better explained as “extremely daring” which is why the theater gathers some of the wildest show crowds in Beijing. Our favorite act was the lion dance where you get to see Chinese tradition all mingled with the stunning brilliance of a Chinese show spectacle. Kids can tag along too, but everyone has to pay for the treat. If you came from far, don’t miss it because of your wallet. We’re telling you, it’s really worth it.
The theatre is very impressive as well. Built back in ’84, it retains it’s historical and spacey feel. But despite the old age the facilities are top-notch and can host more than a thousand people at any given time. Despite the big size, it’s often packed so be prepared with an advanced booking.
Bookings are made without any advanced payment through these companies so do use them but please do respect them as well. A guide will come to bring you the tickets in front of the theater building. Great service and if you cant come, let these poor guys know or they’ll be standing there for nothing!
After the show you can eat Beijing duck at a popular restaurant known as “Beijing Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant”. Yes, we know the name is long but it’s a popular and a bit of a famous place because it’s just so delicious over there. Check it out or even go and see the CCTV headquarters which happens to be one of the most impressive buildings in the proud city. The Chaoyang Park is also not far away at all, with plenty of hectares to walk around and play.
Performances at the Chaoyang Theatre are held at 5:15PM & 7:15PM. See you there!
There is a lot of life that surrounds the Chinese Kung Fu scene. Films, TV shows, comic books, pop-art, weapons, theatre etc. In fact Kung Fu is the general word for pretty much any type of martial art originating from China. With all the buzz it’s difficult to tell the face from the real.. or even understand, what is Kung Fu?!
It is evident that in modern days the majority of martial arts practitioners are motivated by money. Especially in China, people yet cannot afford to have such time consuming hobbies so even being able to combine your work with your hobby is quite an achievement.
But unfortunately these kinds of money orientated motivations are far from the origins of Kung Fu. Modern styles that at best make it until the movie theater screen of course look spectacular. However it’s because they are made to look so on purpose.
Kung Fu in it’s ancient form is filled with purpose that is purposeful. Meaning that every move has a meaning, a function and it’s the most direct route to mastering an art of combat. When one starts adding non purposeful movements the original purpose is lost.
There is one theater however where the traditions have retained as much as possible while bringing a real Kung Fu spectacle that’s both purposeful and entertaining. The show at the Red Theatre in Beijing is a prime example of a classic Kung Fu story. It covers real issues about growing up and mastering ones mind and body through the art of Kung Fu. Of course some glamour has been added to bring the show into spectacle form, such as smashing of bricks and lying on top of nail mattresses. Yet the show has kept a strong traditional flavor that is respected by real Kung Fu lowers around the world.
It’s good to remember that the performers are not real Shaolin Monks, but they are highly skillful martial artists that are trained for the performance. Having shaved their heads as monks, the respect for historical facts is deep and is well reflected in the show.
China has a lot of cities.. with huge populations. But with so many cities not everyone has even heard of them despite their huge population. To teach or refresh everyones memories, here is a list of the biggest cities in China. Ordered by population.
Nr. 1: Beijing
Nr. 2: Shanghai
Nr. 3: Chongqing
Nr. 4: Tianjin City
How many did you get right?
We thought we should lighten up a little bit and do something fun. So the team at China Mogul headed down to the famous Legend of Jinsha acrobatic show. According to the show webpage it has been running for already 10 years straight!
What we discovered, was that the acrobatic scene had dramatically changed since any of us had been to one. While there were some negative changes mostly the impression was positive.
It’s obvious that westernization has entered the stage and this brought a totally new vibe to the performance. This brings some of that “spectacle essence” that traditional chinese performance has been lacking off. Luckily not all is modernized as all the most classic stunts such have remained as it is. All in all the Workers Club in Beijing did give out an amazing performance.. and it all finished nicely with a crazy motorcycle stunt plus a standing ovation!
What we would have liked to see more, is a better fusion of the classic and modern. Sometimes between the stunts the change was not fluent and we we’re left wondering what is the story of the show. But at the end of the night, with acrobatics you are not there to see a play but amazing tricks that leave you stunned. This wall well achieved over the intense one hour that we experienced!
Also we managed to snap a few amazing photos from the acrobatic show.. Legend of Jinsha is a true gem in the Beijing nightlife scene!