All About Beijing
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Nightlife: Chinese Acrobats and Kung Fu
Acrobats are revered in China, much as prima ballerinas or opera singers are revered in the West. It takes years of rigorous training to achieve the excellence demanded by this ancient art form, and training can begin as early as age four or five. The Chinese Acrobatics shows at Tianqiao Theatre are impressive, with amazing displays of athletic strength, impeccable balance, and perfect timing. The theatre is located in the southern part of Beijing, near to the Temple of Heaven.
The Legend of Kung Fu, showing at the Beijing Red Theatre, is a chance to see masters of the art of Kung Fu in action. The show follows the story of a young boy who dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master. The actors do not speak – the story is told through Kung Fu, dance, and acrobatics (English "subtitles," shown above the stage, keep you informed of the story line). Kung Fu practitioners have been drawn from all over China for this production; their average age is only 17 years old. The costumes, set design, and special effects were created by some of the best stage directors and designers in China. The Red Theatre is also located near the Temple of Heaven.