Dragone's "Dai Show" Xishuangbana, China (17th Dec 2016)

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Dragone's "Dai Show" Xishuangbana, China (17th Dec 2016)

Overall it is a standout show out of all the acrobatic shows I've been to in China, but I've seen elements of it done better elsewhere. Acrobatically sometimes not as varied and complex as Cirque or other Chinese shows, but artistically en par with Cirque. Music is very appropriate to the acts and set/costumes are spectacular. Definitely worth the visit if you are nearby, but make sure you sit not directly in front, but slightly off centre for the best experience.

*Icarian game: Very exciting opening which got everyone's attention straight away. Very skilful, but not as complex as Varekai or Iris. 9/10
*Aerial hoop: Beautiful tear drop shaped hoop and very graceful artist who moved fluidly around the apparatus. 9/10
*Water dance: A huge surprise for most of the audience and the height of the waterways very impressive, but it went on for too long, going into boredom territory. 6/10
*Adagio: Considering its only two people, the stage presence and tricks were varied and wasn't dragged on so kept us seeking more. 8.5/10
*Russian Bar: a very short segment (barely even a full act with only a single bar). It was not very complicated and lasted only one or two minutes so never got to any excitement. 6/10
*Hair Hang: Never seen this before so it added some cringing but still excitement at the thought of being held by her hair. the tricks weren't complicated (mainly swinging over the stage) but still interesting. 7/10
*Long hair dance: Unnecessarily long and seemingly pointless. Maybe a speciality of the Dai culture, but it was a let down compared to the rest of the show. 5/10
*Aerial Chinese pole: Swinging from suspended light poles like in immortal, there was a typical Chinese poles act. Would have liked if each pole's artist could have interacted with each other though. There are 4 separate poles separated around the stage and perform independently of each other. 8/10
*Contortion: Just as good as Alexi in Luzia. Flexible to the point of cringing, I loved the act. 9/10
*Hand balancing on floor: Similar to your standard hand balancing act but on the flat floor. Nothing unusual, but well executed. 7/10
*Chinese pole: very similar to the aerial version, but just with fixed poles. Again I would have like to see the poles closer so they will interact with each other. 8/10
*Sand art: Our seats were too far to the right to see the screen so I missed at least half the sand art which was blocked by trees in the set. The final art wasn't as skilled as Zarkana but still very good. Meanwhile on stage several artist create a peacock puppet, but again it can only be appreciated from the front where I was not. 7/10
*Dual Russian swing: Finale was a huge bang with perfectly executed jumps from the swing into the pool, O style. Very energetic, but jumps weren't as varied as O so made it more repetitive. Still a very strong act. 9/10

 

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I should also mention, the theatre itself and the surrounding parkland is absolutely beautiful. The only main let down is the lack of program, cd or DVD with only clothes in the shop. No english brochure either.

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Never taken much interest in his post cirque work. Especially the Chinese shows which just looked over the top gaudy. Very interested in the developing Dubai show though only as I love following the cities developments to pull in the cash. Thanks for your review though! 

La Nouba, Corteo, Delirium, Ovo, Quidam, Totem, Saltimbanco, Immortal, Amaluna. 

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To be honest, i enjoyed this more than some Cirque shows (eg Kooza, immortal and ovo) so I wouldn't disregard his post Cirque work. I also saw La Reve and House of Dancing Water, but both were too "bigger is better". The Dai show was much smaller scale.

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His Chinese shows are over the top. Thats kind of the point of their success in that region and why Cirque missed the mark with the Chinese market thus far. He creates shows that includes elements Chinese audiences have yet to see and includes culturally significant themes/nods. Acrobatically speaking Chinese circus is miles ahead of Western Circus so it takes an extra something to impress. (Water elements, BMX etc) 

Speaking of Le Reve it is kind of a shell of what it once was. Originally it was a lot darker and abstract but since the rights were sold to Wynn it continues to trickle more and more into a Dancing with the Stars on Water. Its still quite beautiful though. 

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But my point is the Dai show was not "over the top" which is why I very much enjoyed it.