As the saying goes, ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and with so much entertainment available, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Don’t miss your chance to see the spectacular Cirque Du Soleil performance of Kooza before they pack up their tent early December, and there is also one of Mr. Sondheim’s signature musical productions, West Side Story to enjoy. While we're sure you have many celebrations planned during the festive season, there are also some alternative entertainment options to make this holiday even more enjoyable.
This theater production is tailored for family audiences, in particular, children over age 5. During the Christmas holidays, the Art Space for Kids, continues to bring high-quality imported theater to Shanghai with the French production, Postman.
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. Sherlock, the 60-year-old main character, and his 80-year-old wife Tania, the show’s director, have been delivering the play across more than 20 countries for decades.
The couple 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.
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.
Born in Shanghai, Qiu has made an important contribution to the development of Chinese art, and was the co-founder of the Grass Painting Society where artists were encouraged to create and express their own forms of art. The society grew to be a driving force in Chinese modern art, however its openness to expression was hit with criticism. The nature of some works, such as nudes, during the first exhibition saw it abruptly shut down after a few days. The pressure from this, contributed to Qiu subsequently suffering temporary facial paralysis and an inability to speak. Though he was able to talk again, he found it difficult to paint. It was the fissure (crack) within the rocks that he spotted one afternoon while walking, that piqued his interest and made him aware of the power of nature.
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.
Nov 7–Dec 31, 10.30am–7pm. G/F, Pearl Lam Galleries. See event listing.
The Sound of the Wind, or Orchestral Beauty
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.
In contrast, 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.
The Last of Mohicans: Fri Dec 29, 7.30pm; RMB100-320. 4/F, Shanghai Centre. See event listing.
Italy Neaples Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Concert: Fri Dec 29, 7.15pm; RMB180-880. Shanghai Grand Theatre. See event listing.