Seventy-five minutes is a long time to sit still when you're a
little kid, but Cirque Shanghai: Dragon's Thunder has enough action
to keep even the most fidgety spellbound, plus a lot of "amazing"
for everyone else in your family.
During a recent show at Navy Pier's Skyline Stage, there were
moments when we wondered if the pounding in our chests was from the
Chinese dragon drums incorporated for the first time ever in a
North American Cirque Shanghai show or out of fear for the
frightening stunts by these performers from China. It was probably
a little of both.
Infused with the beauty of the ballet and traditional dance and
Chinese music, this year's show ramps up the entertainment and
thrills from previous years.
Among our favorite acts is the Chinese Flex Bar and the Globe of
Death with five motorcyclists (including a woman!) speeding
insanely inside a giant steel globe. The comedy bowl kicker and his
audience member assistant are so corny it is funny and the Pas De
Deux Contortion skates the edge of risqué and family friendly just
enough to make mom and dad take a deep breath.
Kids will especially enjoy the hoop diving, Rolla Bolla where a
young acrobat performs his acrobatics on colorful cans, and the
Gravity Swings, where daredevils play to the crowd and defy gravity
in what looks like two giant silver hamster wheels.
There isn't an intermission so get your snacks and use the
bathroom before the show. You won't want to miss a single minute of
If you have seen Cirque Shanghai in the past, see it again this
year. If this is your first time, get your tickets now. You won't
be disappointed. Be prepared, though, for your kids to ask for
colorful mohawks because that's what the cool performers are
sporting this year.
Tip: If you attend the last show of the night Wednesday
nights and Saturday nights, you can catch the fireworks as you
leave. A perfect cap to a fantastical trip to another
Tamara is the editor of Chicago Parent and mom of three.
See more of Tamara's stories here.
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