After our tour of the Temple of Heaven, we again boarded our coach and proceeded to the nearby Beijing Red Theater which specializes in traditional Chinese performances. Here, we were to watch the 5:15 PM (the next was 7:30 PM), 1 hour and 20 min. showing of “The Legend of Kung Fu,” a unique and spectacular fusion of modern dance with Chinese traditional arts performed here since 2006. The Red Theater, originally known as the Chongwen Worker’s Cultural Palace Theater, was renovated and its stage facilities has been dramatically improved.
This show is all kung fu, dance and acrobatics and the actors, the best kung fu practitioners from all over China, do not speak (English subtitles shown above the stage keep you informed of the story line). Their average age is 17 years. The costumes, set design and special effects (complete with requisite lights, fog and bombastic music), all up to international standards, were created by some of the best stage directors and designers in China.
This Las Vegas-style show, produced by China Heaven Creation International Performing Arts, China’s leading performance art production company, follows the story of a young boy named Chun Yi who, like every boy in China, dreams of becoming a kung fu master. He was brought by his mother to an ancient Buddhist temple to train to become a monk in the kung fu tradition. On the road to enlightenment, the young monk slowly grows, through kung fu training and encounters with difficulties and temptations, into the next leader of the temple.
During the show, we weren’t allowed to take photographs or do videotaping during the performance as the theater makes most of its money selling DVDs and trinkets after the show.
Red Theater: No. 44 Xingfu Da Jie., Chongwen District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Tel: 86-10-67103671. Ticket Prices: RMB180 (Yellow Zone), 280 (Blue Zone), 380 (Green Zone) and 680 (Red VIP Zone). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org