南威尔士晚报评论:

由中国非常有影响力杂技团演出的这台戏与众不同,成年人和儿童都被表演者的技能所吸引,这是令人振憾,整个演出的气氛既充满活力又令人目不暇接。这些表演者,无论是在摇摇欲坠的木椅上保持平衡,还是在竖立的杆子上停留,都证明了他们几乎是无所不为。力量和敏捷性是精彩的特技之一。 多才多艺的演员将身体伸到极限,并带着微笑。这远远超过了欧洲演出团通常的马戏技巧雕虫小技。整台节目给人以上进和振奋,希望架起东西方之间的文化桥梁,所涉的演职员的奉献精神给人都留下深刻的印象。

South Wales Evening Post Review: 

        Quite a change of pace for the Grand , this extraordinary show from one of China’s foremost acrobatic troupes proved to be a hugely compelling and entertaining offering. The Anhui Acrobatic Troupe, currently engaged in an extensive tour of the UK, specialises in routines which defy the laws of gravity and physics: the end result is a spectacular mixture of aerial acrobatics and supreme athleticism which is rarely seen these days, either on stage or screen.

          Small wonder that this production attracted such a large and appreciative audience – to see adults and children alike so enthralled by the skills of these performers was heartening, and the overall mood of the show was both energising and positive.

          These performers, whether balanced atop a precarious stack of wooden chairs or perched halfway up a vertical pole, proved that they were capable of almost anything, strength and agility were the hallmarks of this tremendously enjoyable show in which the multi-talented members of the company stretched their bodies to the limit and emerged triumphantly. This was far more than the usual display of circus skills served up by European athletic troupes: the agenda here was clearly more constructive and positive, aiming to build bridges between East and West – and no-one could have failed to be impressed by the skill and dedication of those involved.

表演的盛宴 —–伦敦西区剧院评论家斯图尔特·斯威尼

这是一个令人愉快的演出,艺术家一系列出平衡和旋转色的表演非常精彩。 总体而言,女性给人的印象要比男性的多,演出要求的不仅要求动作的力度,更着重动作的精确度和优雅度。为此,伦敦的舞蹈评论家都在新闻之夜出动来评判。

当然,演出也展示了一些不太尽情理的地方:例如,在一场壮观的平衡技能演出中,称为“女士和他们的椅子”的节目,和另一个称为“艺术姿势”的节目,舞台上放出了很多烟雾和干冰相比,这与节目无关联。 还有服装太简短,尤其是短裙和搭配露肩的假豹纹皮上衣。舞编“有限的”,有一男子精彩的节目,手拉着手,头顶着头。 不能不说,在这些粗俗的动作之中,有着很多高质量的技能。节目“女士和她们的椅子”真震撼 !七位女士和十张椅子,从下往上扇形展开。最激动人心的是,最后一个女孩还要爬过扇形到最顶端,平衡性要求很高,她爬行中,其她所有人都必须同时进行调整以保持重心在中央椅子上。当最后,她们每个人都稳定的在椅子上同时倒立起来时,观众禁不住鼓掌。

另一节目,一个单身女子躺在她的背上, 用四肢巧妙的平衡地滚动阳伞,接着,为了增加难度,她四肢滚动布片, 速度极快,使得布片看上去像固体版一样。 在表演中,节目解说者说有1%的机会会出错,我却在一项似乎不太难的动作中, 看到表演者两次失败,看来,解说员也会放错。

 最后一个节目,四个男人一个站在另一个的肩上, 一个很有弹力的小女子由跷跷板弹跳到第四个人的肩膀上,那高度约20英尺!

令人失望的是,该演出没有提供表演者和创作人员的名字,我想这是符合其非个人主义的文化的

A Feast of Feats by End Theatre Critic  Stewart Sweeney:

      This is a delightful show and the primary reason is the brilliance of the artists as they balance and spin in a series of remarkable acts. Overall the women impress more than the men, showing that precision and elegance score more highly than sheer power and maybe that is why London’s dance critics were out in force for the press night.

The other enjoyable aspect of the evening is a certain naivety in the presentation: a spectacular balancing act is called ‘Ladies and their chairs’ and another, ‘Artistic Poses’; there is more irrelevant smoke and dry ice than has ever been seen on the London stage; the costumes are a fright, especially some short lumpy tutus paired with off-the-shoulder fake leopard skin tops; the choreography is ‘limited’ and includes a wonderful moment for the men when they must stretch out one arm with the other on the back of their heads.

But amidst all this kitsch lie the gems of the various acts. Those ‘Ladies and their chairs’ are amazing – 7 ladies and 10 chairs, arching up and off centre. The most difficult, but underplayed moments of this balancing act occur when a new girl is added to the construction and the others all have to make simultaneous adjustments to maintain the centre of gravity over the central chair. And then at the end, they each do a hand-stand from this precarious position. The audience erupted with applause.

Another act features a solo woman lying on her back and doing clever balances with parasols. And then to make life more difficult she performs similar tricks with sheets of cloth, which have to be spun at a terrific rate to make them behave like solid surfaces. At one stage an organiser comes out and explains that there is always a 1% chance that a trick will go wrong. Then in one, not apparently overly difficult act, a performer fails two times to make it work. An accident or a marker that even these adepts are fallible?

For a finale, four men stand one on top of another and a powerful small woman is propelled from a see-saw with a back-flip to land on the shoulders of the fourth man, some 20′ high.

       One disappointment is that the programme provided neither the names of the talented performers, nor those who have trained them. I suspect that it is the culture of the ensemble, rather than individualism that lies behind this.

伦敦时报剧院评论

        坐下观看30多名演员的马戏。这是一场令人震惊的演出,健壮且面带微笑的年轻演员们尝试着物理可能性在人的肢体内的所有可能。该节目由朱建平(Jianping Zhu)导演,给予了令人难以置信的娱乐和特技表演。这是在伦敦的首演场,第一个节目是,罗密欧与朱丽叶相似的中国蝴蝶爱的悲剧神话为题的两人空中芭蕾。随后,随着更有刺激和怪异技巧的表演接踵而至。

节目“艺术姿势”,一组线条女子,作出各种的平衡组合,像椒盐脆饼一样。皮肤和关节链接一团,另外,一名女子能像棒棒糖一样扭曲她的脊背,同时用脚,额头和嘴巴平衡几层塑料杯。在一个旋转的平台上长大,她就像没有水的喷泉。

一位全神贯注的女子十分自信地单手倒立在六把椅子上,她坚如磐石的举动还带着点性感的腹肌运动。一个显然更诱人的女孩只将自己套入无数银色的呼啦圈,观众席下从孩子到退休长者的都情不自禁地欢呼起来。接下来是一位女子看精致的表演,她躺在着,用脚优雅地翻滚着大阳伞,然后,变换到四肢同时旋转的方巾,还加上牙齿之间的短棒也在旋转一片方巾。

相比之下,安徽省的男孩子们的运动能力非常强,无论是飞过固定环和翻筋斗,还是在垂直的高杆之间穿梭, 或是一个人只用他的肌肉胳膊扛着其他伙伴,在他上面像轴承平行展开,这一幕幕似乎都违反了地球引力常规。

安徽杂技团成立于1956年,显然演员们训练有素,但还是不可避免地存在失败的风险。在旋转碟子戏里,还出台了一位像拉斯维加斯装扮的女歌手。在人手链接戏中有女孩们在台上有不自禁地偷笑,还清晰看见在底部的那个女孩的还做了个痛苦的鬼脸,好像在透露那个程序或动作没做好, 这些台上不该出现的表情泄露了专业暇疵。

Liu Li’s reflection on Donald Hutera’s Ugly article:

It has taken me more than a decade to come to terms with this article written by Donald Hutera, who was a freelance dance critic at that time. It went back a number of years when this Anhui Chinese Acrobatic show staged in LondonIt was overwhelmed by theatre venues looking to host the show, and soon I had lined up twenty-four venues for a full UK tour. The show was extremely well-received, many positive reports poured out, apart from this one, what I can only describe as “very ugly” review which appeared in The Times.

Well, I would like to keep this ugly article as it is here as a record to display how old English generation turned their nose up at Chinese doing and this type of ” spine distortion’ ‘weird skills,’ ’ in comparison to the highminded refined culture of England….  this review may be very much a product of its time.

Chinese acrobatics demonstrate astonishing feets, and most acts are people taking risks doing the impossible, versus failure odds in classic fashion.  This old dance critic seemed gobsmacked by the show and lost his proper words, this was not a dance show, even not any show that he had seen before, he mentally rejected it and chose many mean words to describe it. Cirque du Soleil came to the UK a few years later to a hugely different reception. By then, I am sure that he would be shamed about this article he wrote and the unjustified disdain he spilled.

Newspaper  The Times Theatre Review by Donald Hutera

Despite the presence of chairs in several routines, the last thing that the 30-plus members of China’s Anhui Acrobatics are allowed to do is sit down. In Za-Ji, an alarmingly fit and ever-smiling young cast tries just about everything else within the realm of physical possibility. Directed by Jianping Zhu, the show is a sometimes outrageously entertaining blend of kitsch production values and gob-smacking stunts.Opening night began unprepossessingly with a theatrically flat, cumbersome two-person aerial ballet based on the tragic myth of a Chinese Romeo and Juliet reincarnated as butterflies. But subsequently the string of acts grew in term of thrills and weird skills.

A clutch of strong, wiry women struck what the programme billed as ‘artistic poses’ – cantilevered balances and pretzel-like conglomerations of skin and bone. In a spine and mind-bending display of contortion, a soloist twisted like taffy while balancing pretty little tiers of plastic cups via feet, forehead and mouth.Raised up on a revolving platform, she could have been a human fountain only minus the water.

Perched atop a stack of six chairs, a compact woman executed single hand-stands with imperturbable confidence and zen-like concentration. Her rock-solid moves were punctuated with sexy little twitches of the midriff. A more obviously fetching girl worked an audience ranging from kids to pensioners into a collective frenzy, simply by inserting herself inside a battery of silver hula hoops. The centrepiece of the daintiest-seeming act lay on her back, gracefully tumbling large parasols with slippered feet. She then switched to simultaneously spinning fabric with all four limbs and, thanks to a short stick held between the teeth, head.

By contrast the boys of Anhui were boundingly athletic, whether vaulting and somersaulting through stationary rings or shooting up, down and between tall, vertical poles. One made his ascent using only his muscular arms, while the lot of them stretched out parallel to the floor straight as ram-rods in gravity-defying group tableaux.

Originally found in 1956, the current Anhui ensemble is plainly stunningly well-trained. Inevitably, however, there is the risk of failure. Witness a plate-spinning section attended by a caterwauling, tiara-wearing vocalist who smacked of Las Vegas. Here the girls simpered nicely, at least until one attempted a single handstand on another’s hand. As the grimaces of the girl on bottom made painfully clear, the trick wasn’t working. Her few moments of ill-concealed shame afterward were a poignant example of what a dedicated, emotionally transparent company this is.