There is a lot of advice on this blog, but if you are going to just do one thing when you travel to Beijing you need to see the Beijing Acrobats.  Need to.  You should be required to see it by law.  In all reality you should see the Great Wall and countless other things in Beijing, but seriously see the acrobats.  They will blow your mind and when you think that your mind is thoroughly blown they will put it back together only to blow it a second time to the point where the first mind blowing seems like nothing more than a whistle in the wind.  Seriously.  Book your Beijing Flights to come see the acrobats.  I’ll wait.  Okay ready?  Let’s get into it.

I saw the acrobats last night, and I’m still absurdly excited about it.  Now coming up to the show all of my friends who had already seen it would make outlandish statements about it, but the most popular was always “the Beijing Acrobats put Cirque du Soleil to shame.”  Now I love Cirque du Soleil and have seen it in many of its different iterations on different parts of the globe.  I found these claims hard to believe, smiled politely, and said “we’ll see.”  And I saw.  Oh I saw.

The show started with standard acrobatic tricks, impressive handstands, juggling, feats of strength, and the same sorts of things that are “normal” at an acrobatics show.  The performers were extremely talented, but I sat in my seat smiling smugly.  Yes, the show was enjoyable, but in my head I was already coming up with ways that Cirque du Soleil was better.  The production value wasn’t the same, the soundtrack wasn’t from a live orchestra, my mind was flowing with pretentious little ways that my slice of the West was better than what they had here.

The show continued, and got more and more impressive.  Once I saw an acrobat climb down a stair on one hand, while another acrobat stood on his back with one hand I started to reconsider.  The production value was not as extravagant here, but the pure physical ability and stunts performed were definitely more impressive.  I was starting to be proven wrong, but could still find ways justify my opinions.  With the finale, that  all changed.

For the final act a huge spherical metal cage was brought to center stage and a performer drove out in a motorcycle.  He then proceeded to enter the cage, and drive around in circles.  Then upside down.  Driving upside down.  My mind was blown.  The Beijing acrobats had won.  As soon as this thought crossed my mind, another driver came by and entered the cage.  Now there were two motorcycles  driving in tandem, upside down.  My mind was reassembled for the sole purpose of reblowing it.  Then a third motorcyclist came out.  Then a fourth drove out.  And when it didn’t even seem like there was room, a fifth joined.  Five motorcycles were driving around with feet between them, and I don’t even have words to describe my emotions at the time.  Just then 3 MORE DRIVERS came out and joined the cage.  I’d say my mind was blown, but honestly, I’m sure at this point my mind had left town for better weather.  When you travel to Beijing see the acrobats, you won’t be sorry.

Jack Li
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