Jesse Gall

Local Attraction: Cirque Du Chine

In Local, Reviews on June 25, 2011 at 11:05 am

The circus is a place of intrigue, bewitching us as children with death defying feats of acrobatic mastery or reminding us as adults that awe can still be found. Last night, after months anticipation, I finally got to go see Pigeon Forge’s Cirque Du Chine chinese circus, and let me just say that I loved every minute of it. If you’re in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville for any reason, you should go. Kitschy  and corny at times, yet thrilling and unbelievable at others, Cirque Du Chine will take you around the emotional block.

The theater is magnificent, a monstrous stage dominating  the center of the building. Thirty some six-foot chinese lanterns pepper the ceiling and glow with a incandescent red that softens the intimidating expanse of the place. The theater can sit thousands of people, but there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

After finding our seats in the third row, I sat down giddy like a child, my leg suddenly developing Restless Leg Syndrome as I waited for the show to begin. The lights dropped and after a short message from the master of ceremonies, the show began. Coordinated dancers, jugglers, acrobatics, human statues, heart stopping balancing acts and more. There was just so much to watch and enjoy. The show is lengthy, but not too lengthy, providing just enough amazement.

Unfortunately, Cirque Du Chine isn’t perfect. I am of the old theater tradition that staunchly hates seeing anything, hearing anything, or being distracted in anyway by the goings on in the backstage, and in this regard, Cirque Du Chine could stand to improve. On more than one occasion, I could look across the stage and see the next four people about to enter. I could see lights, I could see spinning plates, I could see motorcycles. It’s amateur theater. It ruins the illusion, and considering how important “the illusion” is the the circus, I would suggest that Cirque Du Chine pull its backstage black curtains a little tighter. Also, the magician wasn’t so spectacular. It wasn’t his fault, it was just that I was sitting to the side, which made his sleight of hand a little more obvious.

But, the show was fantastic when I wasn’t distracted. I was particularly impressed with the loose wire walker (think tightrope walker, but with more slack), who walked around and swung about with ease, demonstrating amazing strength and balance. Also, the motorcyclists (I won’t spoil it) and anything that involved a chair were just breathtaking.

Overall, I would say you should take your family if you get the chance. It’s fun and everybody should go to the circus once in a while. I was laughing for no reason and grinning for two hours; I felt like a child. And sometimes, we adults – who like to strut around so entitled and so grown up – could use a nice childlike experience. Good for the spirit.

Until the end, the Mended Blend.

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