Just like art itself, we are always on the move looking for anything that inspires us and gives us the kicks we need out of an artistic way of life. It’s really a great way to find something exiting out of our century, something that I had been even thinking of naming it “Gartel Finds”. It’s a sort of a game at times, because there is such an abundance of art in this world, which is great but gives an additional level of difficulty in discovering something that is truly your style. Either way, over the many years that the Gartel Museum has been operating, travelling and discovering artistic cultures of all walks of life… we have sort of mastered a technique of distinguishing the real from the fake. In many ways we would like to teach this skill to everyone, but as it requires such profound experience it is not really that possible through this blog. Instead we have several pupils who are learning and absorbing from us on a personal level day by day. As for the blog we are writing at times, it is our best hope to simply introduce the most wonderful things within the vast ocean. That ocean, which recently produced another media works creation, of the Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show which was a fine “Gartel Find” of the artistic kind indeed!
It’s as if time has stopped, perhaps because of the faint stink at this old theater. You kind of feel like this is the way it’s suppose to be, in order to retain it’s originality of classic performance. I think many of us who are visiting China, and especially the stunning capital city of Beijing can share the understanding of what we come to look for. That is without a doubt, the originality of an ancient Chinese culture. As the modern has it’s big limit in being interesting, an easier and more guaranteed way of enjoying oneself is going to see the old & historic. Previously we had seen a more modern version of theatre performance in Beijing, as you might recall from out post about the Golden Mask Dynasty. But what really kicks in and absorbs our consciousness is the cultural acrobatics that is taking place in many corners of China. It is also important to note, that these shows are not just some touristic trap as most are big stage productions that take pride in their past and current “high status” even in modern Chinese culture.
After a while as the stink has settled in your nose and the acrobatics are on stage it takes a short instance to get in tune ad hooked with the amazing variety of performance you are seeing in front of you. There are loads of classics, like high rope standing, hat and ball throwing, traditional lion dance and many more. What really grasped our attention and deserves it’s place in the Gartel Museum is an act where two human bodies meet in order to show the impossible. While strength is an important part in the play, it is mostly pure skill which has grown over years of hardship and meeting with ones limits of both body and mind. With the most magical backdrops, that only the Chinese could think of one starts to melt. Until towards the second half of the show, existence has already mingled with the very ancient acrobatic soul that the Chaoyang Theatre so proudly carries.
With all the great constructions being destroyed in many parts of the city, it makes us worry at the least. Who is going to stand and which will go away making way for the new buildings. For sure, if this acrobatics show would move anywhere else than the theatre in chaoyang, it would be a huge loss and the show would never be the same. While having the characteristics of a big stage variety production, we are sure that the old and historical Chaoyang Theatre was one of the most important factors into bringing the Beijing acrobatics into life. This was something far more artistic, creative and inspiring than any western circus performance could ever be. While this could be considered a form of “Chinese circus”, we think the name acrobatics fits and suits the proud country much more.
To conclude our Gartel find, I would like to note that anyone who is interested in artistic performance and media works that make show nightlife something you have never seen before. The Flying Acrobatic Show venue at the marvellous Chaoyang Theatre will be your best on any visit to Beijing, easily!
Warmest regards from the amazing world of art,
PS. Hope to see more of articles from the great Republic of China? Let us know in the comments. Thank you!