As the saying goes, ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and with so much entertainment available, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here is out list of what’s on over the coming weeks, so if you’re in Shanghai for the festive season there is plenty to keep the family busy!
Dec 7-25: Postman
During the Christmas holidays, the Art Space for Kids, continues to bring high-quality imported theater to Shanghai with the French production, Postman, tailored for family audiences, in particular, children 5 years and over.
This 50-minute show features an aged and grizzly postman who runs his daily delivery errands on a simple bicycle. The story unfolds as he attempts to find the cause of a smoking parcel. After opening it, he miraculously stumbles into a prehistoric forest where dinosaurs and volcanoes begin his time-traveling adventure. The production, which was originally performed 36 years ago, is presented by a French couple recognized as the founders of bicycle theater. They spent six months manually producing every prop as they believe every parcel is like a ‘pop-up gallery’ bringing beautiful surprises that produce a unique experience to the audience. If you are curious about what lays beneath these parcels, reserve your seats in advance.
Dec 7-25, (Mon–Fri) 7.30pm, (Sat & Sun) 10.30am/2.30pm; RMB230. A.S.K. (Art Space for Kids). See event listing.
Dec 22-24: Xmas Amazing Pillow Fight
This longstanding holiday tradition at Mao Livehouse reurns to provide an offbeat way to celebrate the season. There will be raffle prizes, including a free trip for two to Hong Kong, as well as live music and DJs. The ticket price includes a pillow that you’ll receive on arrival.
7pm, RMB158 presale, RMB180 door. Mao Livehouse, See event listing.
Dec 22-24: Shanghai Ballet - The Nutcracker
Notable choreographer Derek Deane’s version of The Nutcracker, performed by the Shanghai Ballet, incorporates Chinese cultural elements into the story, as well as enchanting stage sets and lighting that have been tailor-made for Shanghai Grand Theatre. Expect a few new twists and surprises within the classic story.
7.15pm, RMB180-680. Shanghai Grand Theatre. See event listing.
Dec 23-24: Lightwire Theater - A Very Electric Christmas
This innovative stage production will light up the holiday season for both children and adults. Dancers perform in the pitch-dark, wearing puppet-like costumes that come equipped with colorful electroluminescent wires. The story features elements of The Nutcracker, but is set in New Orleans and focuses on a family of birds.
7.30pm, 10.30am, 2.30pm, RMB120-280. Shanghai City Theatre. See event listing.
Dec 23-25: Imperial Russian Ballet - Swan Lake
Another take on the classic ballet performance composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky! This time the usual Christmas ballet will be presented by Imperial Russian Ballet, a ballet company based at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. If you haven't planned anything this week, it’s always worth booking tickets for the ballet, and you can't go wrong with the classics.
Sat-Mon Dec 23-25, 7.15pm-9.15pm;RMB80-680. Shanghai Oriental Art Center. See event listing.
Dec 25: Concert by Alexander Markov
Born in Moscow, Alexander Markov studied violin with his father, who is also a renowned violinist. By the time he was 8 years old, he was already able to perform as a soloist with orchestras. After winning the Paganini International Violin Competition in 1982, Alexander gradually won audience's acclaim with his unique performing style. Even Yehudi Menuhin once referred to him as “one of the most brilliant and musical of violinists.” If you weren't able to attend his concert last year, this is the chance you don’t want to miss again!
Mon Dec 25, 7.30pm-9.30pm; RMB100-658. Shanghai Oriental Art Center. See event listing.
Dec 29: The Sound of the Wind
If you want to treat yourself to something different from the usual Christmas ballets of Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, thankfully in Shanghai, the options are extensive.
The Last of the Mohicans, is the signature tune by Polish-Indian musician Alexandro Querevalú’s. This unique and eye-catching performance will truly take your breath away. Dressed in traditional Native American costume, his use of a wide variety of wind instruments and his interpretation of the music, deliver a dynamic and emotional masterpiece. Born to humble beginnings in Peru, Querevalú rose to fame via the use of social media, when he amassed an impressive 6.3 million views for a YouTube video in 2015; the numbers can’t lie, this is a must-see performance.
Fri Dec 29, 7.30pm; RMB100-320. 4/F, Shanghai Centre. See event listing.
Dec 29: Orchestral Beauty
The Neaples Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Concert delivers a finely tuned array of classical music for your ears. Performing under prestigious conductor Corsi Silvano, the orchestra will play well known classics ‘Carmen’ by Georges Bizet and ‘Hungarian Dance No. 5’ by Brahms.
Fri Dec 29, 7.15pm; RMB180-880. Shanghai Grand Theatre. See event listing.
Jan 7: Hand in Hand International Children's Music Festival
Hand in Hand International Children's Music Festival brings the best children’s bands from around the world to tour China. Bring your children to their first rock show and bop along to Latin Grammy and Emmy award-winning, and Grammy-nominated Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band (USA) and Hippe Gasten (Holland). Get ready for infectiously catchy surf rock melodies and high-octane rock music for kids. It's a show the whole family can enjoy together!
Sun Jan 7, 10am-8.30pm;RMB160-360. Shanghai Center Theater. See event listing.
All Month: Qiu Deshu’s Solo Exhibition
If you’ve decided to stay in town during the Christmas holidays, how about spending a day, immersing yourself in ‘The Art of Fissuring,’ a solo exhibition by Chinese artist Qiu Deshu. This retrospective exhibition at Pearl Lam Galleries showcases his works from 1979 - 2015. His signature technique of fissuring is a delicate and sophisticated process, using xuan paper (rice paper). He applies ink to the fragile paper, tears it apart and then reconstructs the torn pieces to create new images. The result is a vivid depiction of the images he is trying to portray.
With the development and maturing of his fissuring technique, Qiu has elevated his presence within the art world to an impressive level; the confident color choices, the well-mapped details and the power bursting from the cracks on the paper deliver mesmerizing images. Viewing his works, created after the Grass Painting Society incident, tells the story of an artist who was lost, and then found his purpose again.
10.30am–7pm. G/F, Pearl Lam Galleries. See event listing.