Monday, August 15, 2022
EntertainmentCIRCUS - Along celebrates Kung Fu and the culture of Hong Kong

CIRCUS – Along celebrates Kung Fu and the culture of Hong Kong

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[star rating =4/5]

Celebrating the culture of Hong Kong, Hugh Cho’s hit show Along made some powerful statements in this year’s production. The majority of the performance was simply a display of acrobatics, dance and kung fu, but once that was done, there was a brief afterword about Hong Kong and the protests that have dominated news headlines in recent months.

First, a video was shown giving a few details about the history of Hong Kong and the rise of the protests, detailing the police brutality, abuses of rights and ending on a grim note of how the protests might end.

As the video was playing, the performers slowly crept onto the stage, clad in bright yellow helmets and goggles: the uniform of the protesters.

They then joined together, forming a barricade which was slowly pushed back by an invisible force.

The entire time, they kept their heads low, subdued and suppressed as they got closer and closer to disappearing off the stage entirely. Then suddenly, a spark was lit.

The protesters flew into life, desperately scrambling over each other, reaching out as if they were trying to grasp some long-forgotten dream.

The sequence ended with one of the performers standing on the barrier before simply jumping off, filled with a quiet sense of relief.

The rest of the performance had significantly less meaning to it, but it was nonetheless highly watchable. Faces painted to look like terrifying warriors, the performers listened to the eternal wisdom of a monolog of martial arts icon, Bruce Lee.

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Whenever he was talking, the performers dropped what they were doing and listened.

It was as if Bruce Lee was some sort of spiritual guide to them, speaking from beyond to give them advice, telling them to fully express themselves and “be water”.

Their performance did indeed flow like water, moving from kung fu, to acrobatics, to dance so seamlessly, it was hard to tell which was which.

There were brief moments of physical comedy to be enjoyed here and there, as well as some pop culture references. One sequence involved the performers doing the floss to Uptown Funk.

This light, fun performance starkly contrasted with the altogether darker tone of the afterword. So much so, it was hard to believe they were part of the same show.

Nevertheless, it was a rich, enjoyable experience that ultimately ended with well-deserved applause. The performers promised more seating for their next show.

Based on how well this one was received, they may well need it.

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