Cirque Ziva. New Victory Theater (Off Broadway). By Golden Dragons Acrobats. Directed by Danny Chang. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission.
Cirque Ziva: In brief
The Golden Dragon Acrobats perform amazing stunts in this traditional Chinese acrobatic and dance act on the New Vic stage. Performances include hoop diving, contortionism, diabolo and chair-stacking.
Cirque Ziva: Theater review by Raven Snook
In an era when neocircus shows routinely incorporate eclectic aesthetics and themes, from Shakespeare to Fritz Lang's Metropolis to Canadian lumberjacks, China's Golden Dragon Acrobats' über-traditional Cirque Ziva is a serious throwback. While the admittedly impressive skills on display date back two millennia, the loud canned music and sometimes garish matching costumes recall the 1980s. Contortion, aerial silks, juggling, unicycling, diabolo and other familiar feats are all performed with precision and aplomb, if not much character. Perhaps that's the point: The troupe, founded in 1967, has long been celebrated for its intricately choreographed group routines, with the collective talent of the many outweighing any individual star power. But the few solo acts, particularly Hui Yuan Zhu's high-spirited and humorous Tower of Chairs, are the ones that get the audience whooping. Sometimes personality matters more than perfection.—Theater review by Raven Snook
THE BOTTOM LINE: This ancient Chinese circus is in need of an update.
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