Monday, January 30, 2017

Cirque Soleil at Royal Albert Hall

First day of Chinese New Year 2017 I achieved 2 firsts. I went to the Royal Albert Hall in London to see Cirque Soleil. Both were new to me.

The Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington, London, is named after Queen Victoria's husband Albert. The hall was opened in 1871 and is well known for the annual Proms concerts.

There are some stunning buildings nearby -

Royal College of Music
 Royal College of Organists -

Across the road is the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens -

I only booked a few hours before the show so was seated in the upper circle in the back row, which was actually OK as I had a view down and over the whole hall. One of the corridors-

The show was called Amaluna. "Visit the island of Amaluna, ruled by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon."
"A Mysterious Island Ruled by Goddesses. After directing her daughter's coming of age ceremony, honouring femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance, Queen Prospera causes a storm. A group of young men wash up on the isle, triggering an epic love story between Prospera’s daughter and a brave young suitor. Theirs is a love that will be tested."

My photos are not good as I was taking quickly with the zoom. The ones captioned www are taken from the Cirque Soleil www.

There was a variety of acts. Aerial straps - "The artists fly out over the audience on straps, suspended from the Carousel, a rotating set element high above them. This spectacular demonstration of flight in four dimensions is calling for precision timing, in addition to the skills and physical strength it takes to move at high velocity through 360 degrees."

"Uneven bars - The captured young men help the Amazons to present a fast-paced theatrical version of the classic gymnastic routine."
"Cerceau & Waterbowl - Miranda plays in the waterbowl, discovering her own physicality and expressing her sinuous sexuality as she performs a challenging hand-balancing routine." The balancing acts were great and Miranda dived into the bowl which was only about 2 m diameter -

"Teeterboard - Young men launch themselves high into the air, twisting and turning in a playful high-speed. They pull off several seemingly impossible feats. "

This act was amazing, the girl balanced each stick in turn, starting with the very small one. She picked each new stick up with her foot. The result was all the balanced sticks resting on one vertical support -

A short video on the CS www.

Chinese New Year 2017


Chinese New Year in 2017 starts on 28 Jan, when Chinese people welcome in the year of the rooster. The new year occurs with a new moon.

It is also known as the Spring Festival. However most Northern Hemisphere cultures reckon that spring starts with the Vernal Equinox in March (usually 20th - 21st).

I was surprised to see in London that the Chinese restaurants and takeaways were all open on the first day of CNY.

The London CNY celebrations are supposedly the biggest in the world outside of China (and Hong Kong). The main celebrations in London took place on the 2nd day of the new year, Sun 29th. I got to Trafalgar Square before the 10 am start and there were already crowds of people lining the parade route. Luckily I managed to squeeze in and get a relatively good view.

The parade went from Trafalgar Square up Charing Cross Road to Shaftesbury Square and on to China town.

A gweilo handing out badges

Fast moving dragon -

There were lots of lions -

The parade was surprisingly quiet, very few drums or gongs

Even the London fire brigade were involved, carrying a dragon -

Goddess of Mercy -

High flying lions

The only float to have fire cracker decorations -

There were many activities on a large stage in Trafalgar Square in the afternoon and evening. I went home and watched them on TV.

Kung Hei Fat Choy (Cantonese)

Gong Xi Fa Cai