Review: Cirque Du Ciel ShangHi, Ipswich Regent

Amazing, jaw dropping, gravity defying – there are not enough superlatives to describe the incredible skills of the young artists of Cirque du Ciel.

Originally devised in China with more than 30 performers and apparently 500 costumes, this was a mix of circus skills, dance, acrobatics and juggling that had the audience gasping with wonder.

The story thread running through the evening centred on a young girl’s fantasy dreams – but the rather slow scene setting at the beginning did not reflect the performances to come. Since this was the only part of the evening that didn’t really work it was best to put this aside and enjoy the rest of the spectacle.

From the opening solo artist who performed incredible contortions of the body balanced on one hand to the diabolo jugglers, hoop tumblers, arial silk gymnastics, and hat jugglers to the death defying leaps of the monkey pole acrobatics this was a night to remember.

I think my highlight was the incredible gracefulness of a ballerina who stood on her points on top of her partner’s head, but from the spinning aerial hoop girls to the street boys juggling each other with their feet this was a show full of surprises and delights.


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Accompanied by a projected backdrop showing various oriental scenes, a vibrant score and an impressive Chinese drummer this was a faultless show that was entertaining and awe inspiring.

Genuine family entertainment that both adults and their kids can enjoy equally is hard to come by these days. It just seemed a pity it was scheduled on a week that most children had gone back to school. Perhaps next time the tour comes round it could be timed for the school holidays.

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SUZANNE HAWKES

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