To say the Chinese State Circus is merely a show is grossly to underestimate it; it is the embodiment of a traditional art form which can trace its history back over 2000 years. The presentation lives and breathes with the enthusiasm of its acrobatic artistes whose whole lives centre in the performance. The result is the purest, honest, most abiding and exhilarating circus that is a true privilege to see.
Chinese acrobatics is a common form of art among the people. It has a long history with a distinct national style, evolving from the Chinese people’s everyday life and work.
Historical records, ancient carvings and decorative patterns on utensils show the origin of Chinese acrobatics more than two thousands years ago in the period of the Warring States. During the Quin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C – 220 A.D.) acrobatic artistes developed a wide repertoire, and acrobatics was thus called “the show of a hundred tricks.” It reached a high level as a performing art by the Han Dynasty.
Acrobatics has played an important role in cultural exchanges between China and other nations. In the past 35 years, Chinese acrobatic troupes have toured more than 100 countries and regions throughout the world. Their excellent performances were warmly welcomed and highly appreciated by the people of various countries.
The Chinese State Circus was an idea started back in the 1990’s after director Phillip Gandey witnessed a group of Oriental acrobats performing to great acclaim at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival. He was astounded at the quality, depth and sheer diversity of such Chinese Acrobatic Troupes. After working out the logistics of transporting 45 artistes, plus directors, interpreters and five tonnes of props half-way around the world – the rest as they say is history!