A FEW thousand spectators wowed at the circus and acrobatics shows at the first China International Circus Festival, which was inaugurated by Vice Minister of Culture and Director of State Administration of Cultural Heritage Li Xiaojie at Chimelong International Circus Stadium of Hengqin New Area Wednesday evening. Vice Gov Chen Yunxian delivered the welcoming speech and Mayor He Ningka presided over the opening ceremony.
A panel of ten international experts with high reputation in the occupation had been established, and they will decide the winners of the Golden, Silver and Bronze Fisher Maiden and individual awards. Thirteen circus teams from 11 countries performed on opening day.
A state-approved international contest and cultural exchange event, the circus festival is sponsored by the PRC Ministry of Culture and Guangdong Provincial People's Government and co-organised by Zhuhai government and Guangdong Chimelong Group co ltd. Thirty global circus teams from 17 countries are presenting shows from November 20 to December 1.
Li pointed out in his speech that the circus festival, having incorporated acclaimed international circus and acrobatics shows and presented the red-hot achievements of the trade, is of positive significance for promoting Chinese circus arts to go global and the international circus culture to develop and improve together.
CPC Provincial Committee Secretary Hu Chunhua; former member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau Li Changchun; Edmund Ho Hau Wah, former chief executive of China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) and vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC); Wang Zhongyu, former vice chairman of the CPPCC; former State Councillor Dai Bingguo; Macao SAR Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On; Huang Huahua, vice chairman of the Overseas Chinese Committee of National People's Congress; Yuan Weimin, former director of the State General Administration of Sports, and other senior officials were at the opening ceremony.
Kazakh performance Exotic Knight kicked off the first show and was greeted with enthusiastic applause. The Kazakhstan National Equestrian Team has won the Silver Award at the China Wuqiao International Acrobatics Festival and Gold Award at the Kazakhstan Art Festival.
Performers have grown up in circus families and started to ride horses in early childhood, some even from age 3. Having toured in
The knights did rope skipping on galloping horses, made a human pyramid on two running horses, got off the back of a horse and returned through below in the twinkling of an eye. The valiant actors and their highly skilled horsemanship drew screams and excited applauses.
Seven elephants with expertly choreographed and performed tricks from the mysterious world of Thailand danced to music on stage, arousing laughter and acclamation from the audience. They demonstrated European court-ball dances and African tribal dances, skipped rope, played football, stood on one leg, spun and did many other incredible tricks.
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'Gorgeous Girls -- Diabolo' -- a unique combination of acrobatic diabolo and Peking Opera Huadan (female role in the opera), was the only Chinese programme on opening day. Featured traditional costumes and the highest-level diabolo, the show has won the Gold Clown Prize at the 37th Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, President Award at the 26th International Circus Festival of Tomorrow in
Diabolo used to be a fun Chinese folk game and it became traditional repertoire representing simple but sophisticated acrobatic techniques. In the background of the Peking Opera music, the Chinese girls in delicate Peking Opera Huadan makeup and costumes demonstrated highly difficult, beautiful and innovative stunts, which won zealous ovations of the spectators.
Also staged on opening day was The Nightmares Magic played by world-renowned Marcel. The magician told a story through a series of acts. Lying in bed, Marcel encountered a nightmare and began his magic experience by playing a she-devil in a split second.
The Nightmares act is the winning act of the World Championship of Magic in the category Stage Illusions. The original and illusions are the décor during the act which tells the story. Marcel, the main actor, is the antihero who is experiencing a nightmare. During the World Championship, 2,500 fellow magicians gave Marcel and his team a standing ovation. They won many awards including World Champion Illusionism, FISM 2012, and Grand Prix Winner Dutch National Magic Convention 2010.
Aerial Russian Swing, a completely original take on the trapeze discipline combining high-flying acrobatics with Russian swing, trapeze, and ring all mixed into one, and Silk Act combining the single trapeze and traditional silk by Elisabeth Schmidt from Germany are spellbinding. The former featured Russian men and women aerial fliers demonstrating thrilling and dazzling acts whereas the latter mixed the traditional silk trapeze with music, dance, performances and sport in tender softness. Elisabeth won Best-Newcomer-Award Germany 2012 and Bronze Medal Circus Festival Wiesbaden.
Willer Nicolodi, a ventriloquist from Italy and a star in circus, showed ventriloquism of dialogue with his mouse. The audience would never believe what the mouse said was done by Willer. His act lasted for about 15 minutes as he gave birth to a puppet called Joselito.
From a member of a family of circus performers and live performance artists, Willer started out as an acrobat at a very young age and eventually performed in a trio act with his brothers Alex and Ben. Willer Nicolodi then discovers he has a gift of ventriloquism -- an act in which the performer projects his voice so that it appears to originate from an object. Willer Nicolodi's acts as a ventriloquist are mixed with irresistible comedy spiels. The 7th-generation successor of ventriloquism, he has won the Bronze Clown Prize in Monte Carlo International Circus Festival and Gold Prize in International Festival of Art Izhevsk
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The second-day circus show featuring Cuba's Bar Act, which combined Russian bar act, bar, hot Latin music and toned men, was undeniably one of the hottest acts in the festival. The performance was the most updated and it was the first time to be demonstrated outside
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The last performance,