The only place to see both Peking Opera highlights and acrobatics on the same night. Chaoyang Theatre offers an excellent introduction to Chinese acrobatics, a popular form of entertainment dating back 2,000 years. This is definitely Beijing’s biggest and slickest acrobatics performance. Daily hour-long performances feature the China Acrobatic Troupe-the largest such group in the country-who also perform magic. Expect to see spinning plates, trapeze artists, contortionists, tumbling acrobats, 12 girls on one bicycle and a stunning lion dance.
The Beijing Acrobatic Troupe (Beijing Zaji Tuan, 北京杂技团) is less popular than the traditional Chinese Acrobatics Show, but the performances are far better. There’s some excellent contortionism and unicycle stunts.
Beijing Worker’s Club
Address: 7 Hufang Lu, Xuanwu District Phone: 010-6352-8910
Tiandi Theatre (The Universal Theatre)
Address: 10 Dongzhimen Nandajie, Changyang District Phone: 010-6416-9893 Open Hours: 7:15-8:30 pm
The Universal Theater, a newly refurbished venue conveniently close to downtown Beijing, offers a superbly comfortable environment in which to goggle at what's happening on stage.
Martial Arts and Kung Fu Shows
The Red Theatre 红剧场
Address: 44 Xingfu Dajie, Chongwen District Phone: 010-6710-3672; 010-6714-2473 Price: RMB 180 to RMB 680 with dinner Show time: 5:15pm-6:30pm and 7:30pm-8:55 Transportation: Public bus 8, 41,60 or 686
With its Vegas-style stage, the daily Legend of Kung Fu Show is as commercial as they come. Extravagant martial arts are complemented by neon, fog and heavy-handed sound effects. The show features a number of dramatic displays, including some nail-biting spear maneuvers.
Shaolin Warriors(Shaolin Xiongfeng, 少林雄风)
Address: Chaoyang Cultural Centre, 17 Jintaili, Xiaozhuang, Chaoyang District Directions: Jintai Xilu runs from Guanghua Lu up to Cahoyang Bei Lu, and is on the corner of Chaoyang Lu, one block in from the East Third Ring Road. Phone: 010-8599-0393 (English) Open hours: 7:30pm-8:50 pm daily Cost: RMB180-RMB380 Tickets(in Chinese): www.piaowutong.com About the Show: www.cpaap.com/shaolin.htm
Acclaimed across the globe, the Shaolin Warriors captivate and amaze as they display an awe-inspiring combination of martial arts, contortion, acrobatics and incredible athletic skills as they weave an enchanting storyline that reflects their ancient philosophy and traditions. Shaolin Warriors Legendary Masters of Kung- Fu is more than a kung fu show. The four scenes of summer, autumn, winter and spring depict the philosophical theory of the life cycle of Buddhism and vividly show the rarely-seen temple like of Shaolin monks; their Buddhist meditation, as well as their martial arts training during the coldest and hottest times of the year
The Shaolin Warrior Troupe might be steeped in Zen Buddhist philosophy, but that doesn't mean you should mess with its members: It's not for nothing that their kung fu tradition has been at the center of Chinese martial arts culture for more than a millennium. The masters' butt-kicking, amazingly graceful hand-to-hand combat and weaponry skills are on display in a performance that's part action flick, part Cirque du Soleil. The show is mainly dance, with the monks showing their skills in balance and coordination. One of the underlying themes in the show is how the monks can defend themselves with their bare hands but also with everyday objects from their lives - staffs, sticks, even their begging bowl.