Day 94 Continued - Acrobat Show!

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
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Trip End Dec 25, 2007


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Friday, December 7, 2007

I forgot something! Something amazing! I don't know how on earth I forgot it. The first night in China we saw an acrobat show. A whole bunch of students were signed up for it, and usually I tend to avoid the shore excursions that the entire student body is going on, but for the show it wasn't so bad. Liz was going, and Jonathan and Ricky, so Vanessa and I had to catch a cab back from the markets (mostly because we were so tired after walking the entire day) to get back on time for me to change before the show. I wore the amazing shoes Liz had bought in New Zealand - since she'd sprained her ankle she couldn't wear spike heels for a while - and surprised myself with how much I loved them. I wanted to steal them. I'd have to look for some when I went back to NZ! Anyway they piled us all onto the bus, and we had a guide with a The Scholar Ship sign, which was a really good thing because we had to thread our way around a bunch of construction and up a complicated series of ramps and staircases to get into the auditorium. We had fantastic seats, right in the front in the left-hand (that's audience left) section of the auditorium. Not as good as closer to center, but this way we got to see just a little into the wings, and I find that as interesting as what's going on centerstage.

The show was amazing. I wish I could describe it to you, and I sort of wish now that I'd broken the rules and taken a few pictures. Some people did, I know, and Jonathan took a couple of videos of things that were particularly amazing. We'll get to that. Every time I thought they couldn't possibly go anymore, that they must be exhausted, there was more. There were group dances and solos and a few duets. There was one amazing duet with a man and a woman with long ropes of fabric hanging from the ceiling that they climbed and swung from and used to swing in big sweeping circles around the stage. It was so romantic. One of the solo performers balanced elaborate crystal things on her hands and feet and forehead - they were like a cross between a chandelier and a candelabra if you can imagine that. She started with one and did all this dancing and then they brought her a second one and just kept bringing them and kept bringing them until she had five. Or maybe six - there might have been one on her chest as well. She was brilliant.

There were dances with fans and umbrellas and all sorts of fun props. One dance with umbrellas culminated in one performer flipping the umbrella around and dancing with it just with her feet. That was pretty cool. I wish I could describe these performances better; if you've ever seen anything like this you know what I'm talking about - there's really no way to describe it. It was amazing. There was one act where six or seven women stacked chairs in a leaning tower and used their weight to keep it standing. It was brilliant. Just when you think they've done it and you should clap they do something else. Once they were all stacked up and balanced, one by one they moved up into a handstand, balanced on the leaning chairs. They were all in harnesses and on cords to the ceiling, but they weren't holding them up. They only used them for emergencies (of which there were none) and to come down from the tower when the act was over.

The most memorable thing was the knife-thrower. I'm going to put in Jonathan's video so I won't say too much and give anything away. But I do have to tell you that that's Chris Gordon, one of our TSS professors from Ghana that got volunteered to participate. He was terrified! You could tell by his face that he was scared to death and reasoning with himself every second he was up there that if there was much chance of him getting hurt they wouldn't do it in front of a live audience. Actually, I was terrified too. But it was hilarious, and we have a really good story now as well. I'll just say that Chris didn't know the punch line until someone spilled the beans, and then Jonathan showed him the video. Watch for yourself! :D
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