The Comics Corral

The Comic Life of Juan Heskin

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Comic World at Chinese Theater Scene: Chaoyang District

Chaoyang District Nightlife

Just previously, I was explaining my fantastic experience at the Tiandi Theatre in Beijing. And how it connected me to the ancient comics of the “Manhua”.. and in general, made me fell in love with Chinese culture & life style. This really was a sort of a transition moment for me, and enforced my belief that I must travel and experience the world instead of staying home to read comics. With all my respect towards comic collectors, I realised that there is just more to this world.. and it is at it’s best when connected with the comic world. Now I was in love, traveling in the fascinating world of China.. getting stuck in Beijing with the huge theater scene that is available.

I was determined to go further and then it happened that I heard of another Acrobatic show in the city, which would be even better. Naturally, I decided to go for it and see what it would be like in comparison. This famous amongst the Chinese, yet hidden gem of a flying acrobatic show is hosted at the prestegious Chaoyang Theater venue, named by the Chaoyang District where it is located. Not far from the city center buzz, this “business district” is hiding this particular theater within the confinements of large and modern buildings. It is much like entering the world of Clark Kent, where only superman can overcome the challenges of these skyscrapers. Once you arrive to the theater, there is a feel of uneasy in the air. Everyone seems ancitous to get to see the show that people have planned to see for perhaps years, especially when the Chinese audience is concerned.

This is now Smallville thought, as soon you realise that this is something like straight from a Manhua comic, or an old Movie from China. Now it was the second time for Beijing to show me what it was capable of. The results, were nothing less than absolutely stunned. While Tiandi Theatre had hosted a venue with much to my satisfaction gave me a very up and close look into their acrobatics. This time, it was the large scale and grand performance that so many talk about but few have really witnessed.

While watching the death defying & fantastic feats, I recalled a certain acrobatic comic book. It was the “Cirque Du Soleil” by Marvel Comics that I had read back in 2012. It was a special custom edition distributed at the Comic Con. It was perhaps, my first fascination towards acrobatic performance, ever. Without much realising, perhaps it was this very experience that led me to venture into the magical Chaoyang Theater, as well as the one in Tiandi. Which also concluded to an even deeper thinking and understanding about my comic past. You see, even thought I wanted to leave most of the corrall past behind me, it was right within me all that time. Making huge influences on my decision making, my future and everything that happened around me. It was something I needed to accept and make the most out of.. connecting my new life with this past was probably one of the greatest things that happened to me in my life. Isn’t that great I thought.. and while realising this, I was watching the amazing Beijing Acrobatic Troupe… better than any western circus performance could ever be. It was a true pleasure and little did I know that the Chinese theater and variety art adventures would only continue in the next chapter of my travels.

While words are often enough, I advice you to check out the Chaoyang Theater trailer. You can find it from the Show Beijing YouTube channel. They have other great trailers too that might be worth checking out if you want to visit Beijing. Have fun!

Juan Heskin

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