The Amazing Beijing Show of The Jiang Zhou Drum

I previously gave some views on the acrobatic show at Chaoyang Theater. Which continues to be one of the most popular venues in the whole of Beijing. Believe it or not, I have seen it several times since I wrote that article and recommended it to many friends. All of which have been very pleased with the performance. Chinese acrobatics are of high quality, at least the one in Chaoyang district. However it’s not all that.

There is indeed one Beijing drum show, that everyone had anticipated just as the acrobatic one back in the days. And with such a high quality in performance, no wonder it is the same theatre venue, Chaoyang Theater that hosts this show. The troup is coming from “Jiang Zhou” which is the birthplace of the Jiang Zhou Drum. It is very ancient and traditional Chinese instrument, that just as acrobatics, opera and many other forms of performing art take many long years to learn. And when you talk about mastering the art, we are talking in tens of years!

Incredible isn’t it. However, it really needs to be seen as it can be something rather difficult to believe! :) The rhythm of this particular drum is something so intense, that is hard to stay on your seat while you watch the performance. I know because I was one of the lucky ones to experience it first hand.

The show starts with a very atmospheric mood as the lights turn off and the drumming starts with subtle tones… however, once the show is in full swing, bright lights are lit and the speed of r the drumming has become so fast that it’s hard to believe they have perfected the whole thing in such an elite level. It makes me exited just thinking about it. Still not so many westerners don’t know about this performance but the truth is that the Beijing locals have already fell in love with it. And that’s for a reason!

– Nick

Competing In The Real World

There are many different ways to win in this world. Some people like to think of everyone as a winner, while some think only a few can truly win. Of course it all depends on the perspective that you want to take on the issue. But for sure, there are different ways to win, or lose.

The traditional method of winning is by entering competitions and hoping that you get lucky. But the fact is that most people will not be able to win in this way. Those who have a lot of time to spend will most likely win something in their lives like that and indeed that attitude is not bad at all. If you don’t bet, you cannot win they say. And that applies to everything from lottery coupons to your wife.

The other method is competition without depending on luck. We all know what that is about, as everyone is subject to this kind of competition during their lives. Society is simply built that way, you cannot just be, you have to be better than others or something. Otherwise you cannot survive, because unfortunately in this world there are still many people who simply cease to exist if they are unable to compete.

But the third one, is the one above all. It’s a way of thinking that the truth is that everyone is a winner and there are simply no losers in this world. And the magic is that simply by “thinking in this way”, one is able to win. It’s really true and it works.. I mean, there is simply no argument against it. And why not live in that kind of a place.. it’s actually real freedom and equality where everyone who thinks they have won, wins!


Documentation Vs Blogs

Nowadays lot of people are too lazy to read documentation. Some say it’s because there are so many blogs nowadays offering useful information, that it’s simply easier to search on Google than to search from a documentation. Or even finding the official documentation could be easier. While it’s partly true, it’s definitely not the whole truth at all.

Recently I put up a site for a friend of mine and we couldn’t find the rss feed url. Reading through all the documentation a company as huge as WordPress has to offer would have never gotten us the answer. Finally a blog post about WordPress missing RSS feed gave me the simple solution in an instant!

The other side of the truth is that documentation is not optimized. Documentation is basically meant to explain to you the workings of a certain program or interface for example. I don’t think they are even intended in problem solving. For this blog such as these are simply perfect!

So it’s nothing to do with laziness, it’s more like the evolution of the internet. Documentation did not evolve.. so someone else had to. And now there is a whole market for this kind of thing.

The Crazy Truth Behind Nuclear Power

I can’t even begin to express myself when it comes towards my attitude towards nuclear power in the world. Many consider it a contradictive subjects, with plenty of benefits of nuclear power. Yet, I cannot believe for a moment that anyone who would support a sustainable world would ever even consider supporting it.

Take the hypocracy of Japan for example. They have invested such huge amounts in nuclear technology, that even though they are in the middle of the worlds biggest nuclear disaster.. they are not ready to give up their arms.

Seeking new deals around the world for new nuclear power plants, while humanity could be over because of the currenyl facing issues with the Fukushima power plant.

The only semi-smart answer to the nuclear issue has been taken in Finland, where they are building an “onkalo” which will host the nuclear waste.. deeply burried under thousands of meters to be forgotten for eternity. How ever the nuclear waist will remain.

Makes you think, really!

Another Quest of Truth in Shanghai

Shanghai is a buzzing place. If one likes cities, it’s hard not to like it. However the truth is that it’s not that developed as people like to think. Thank god the city still retains it’s coastal warmth of it’s people, dirty streets and air. Compare to Beijing for example, the air is totally different. They might have a similar level in pollution, but the thick sea breeze simply fills the nostrils and ultimately brains of these people. Resulting in a very laid back, “southern style” atmosphere. In the tall office building however, air conditioners keep business men from falling into the lazy trap of actually enjoying life.

Naturally visitors will want to get entertained. But sometimes the warn down style just doesn’t bite for westerners, and for a good reason too. Take acrobatics (the subject I so love) for example. If you enter the wrong theater you just might think you are in North Korea or perhaps you start to feel sick and leave the theater before the moist walls creep on you!

So that’s the trick in Shanghai basically. You need to balance your life between what’s needed to be luxury and what’s needed to be messed up. Living only one of the worlds will leave you with a big gap in common understanding of the city.

Go to a crappy noodle joint and you will see people with suits. Why? Because their city is their life. All the bits, be it dirty or marble stone. This is the essence you have to understand, in order to understand!

For the shows I would recommend Shanghai Center Theater since it’s the most modern and the most “not boring”. They have all the usual acrobatic traits going on and you can safely sit on “non-moldy” chairs with a pleasant conditioned air.

Despite being the most polished.. I loved the interaction with the crowd and it really seemed like they had seen great effort in making it all very very enjoyable. Not just to repeat the same thing over and over again.

But then again, some like tradition more. So why not try Huxi if you are into that kind of a thing. It’s a very small and cute theater with a very local group doing what they do best.. throw plates in the air and balance on top of chairs. You know the stuff.

It’s exactly this contrast between tradition, and modern which makes my visit pleasant. Just accept it and go with the flow. The Shanghainese way!

Are Japanese Really Shy?

It’s no secret that many foreigners think that Japanese are shy people. Including the Japanese themselves, they have become convinced (mainly through) outside pressure that they are so.

Alright, of course there are shy people in Japan. This is something that cannot be denied, just like in any country. But simply to think that a nation is “shy” is a somewhat shallow conclusion to a bigger picture. The truth is that Japanese are shy and are not shy.

To understand all this, a good place to start looking is where it all started. Well, Japanese are very polite people in general and don’t like to give out their emotions to strangers. Does this make them shy? Well, not yet.

What makes them shy are the same very reasons why westerners are shy. This is something that I wont go into because it’s a totally new topic all together. But calling people shy because their culture has a different way of behaving is just ridiculous.

In fact, I have found out that Japanese people are very capable of showing their emotions and strongly too. Just unfortunately they cannot do it in the public, so they have different ways.. such as family, girl friend or even the bath tub!

That’s true. At least before, one of the most important functions of bathing was to remove fatigue that was collected through a stressful day where you are not allowed to scream to your boss. Makes all since! However not shy!

Understanding Chinese Acrobatics, First Stop at the Chaoyang Theatre

Since we have extensively covered some realities of various performing art forms in China, I thought that it would be fair to also give a glimpse to the world of Chinese Acrobatics. In order to dwell into the origins of this ancient art form, one of the best places for such insight is the Chaoyang Theatre in Beijing.

This old theatre has seen years and years of stage performances and thus is one of the main witnesses of the evolution of Chinese Acrobatics. The theatre has hard fought it’s position in the theatre world and to understand it’s significance as an highly important landmark symbol in Beijing, one has to understand that it is located in the midst of new highrise office buildings. The city where demolition of old buildings is done without much thought, this building has survived.

The reason is not of the building, but what happens inside of it. Until this day, daily shows are performed that teach tourists from all over the world what are the capabilities of Chinese acrobats. Some suspect that the venue is too touristic for such an insightful view, however it is especially popular amongst the Chinese, which are in fact most of the visitors there.

What is often happening in China is that old traditions are lost and embracing the new can cause imbalance. Here the balance has been skillfully kept, as all the performances are stictly following hundreds, if not thousands of year old traditions. Despite the traditional, it is well known that the Chinese keep on pushing to advance. Once these traditions are well respected the outcome is a true spectacle!

Adding a bit of old Chinese romance is the old architecture of the Chaoyang Theatre building but the show itself is also very colorful and dazzling. As well as full of warm feelings. Such a show-like precence is essential, not just incredible tricks and stunts! As for the stunts however, they have been taken to the extreme, in good style.

Many acrobatic shows in Beijing can be a great dissapointment, but this one is sure to uncover the truth.

So on your next visit to the capital city of China. Head on to 36 North East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing. Don’t forget to obtain a discount to the show (link above)!

Dreams still an unexplained but insightful phenomenon

Still no one can exactly explain what a dream really is. It’s still shrouded with mystery and questions left open which researchers have been unable to answer. Interestingly we don’t really know why we are sleeping but everyone has experienced what happens if you don’t. Tiredness, reduction in memory and concentration skills are common symptoms. Longer periods can even promote depression, obesity and heart decease which can all be connected to lack of sleep.

During sleep a conscious connection with life is resting. Although sleeping the brain is not. Quite the opposite, it’s working actively during sleep. You could say that the energy levels of the brain is regenerated and what’s learned during the day is ordered and processed in the brain. That’s why it’s better to sleep well before making important decisions in life. After your brain has had a good time to process the information, you are ready to confront life.

One could roughly divide sleep into three parts. Light dreaming, deep dreaming and a state called the REM sleep. The first part of sleep is the deep dreaming state where if woken up one feels very heavy and sleepy. The end part is the light sleep where you experience the REM state with dreams.

Each part has their own duty. Deep sleep is important to feel vital, light sleep and dreaming is important for your brain to work the next day. Some say that it even promotes creativity.

Telling The Truth to Your Kids About Where Babies Come From

Sooner or later your child is going to pop out the question: “Where do babies come from?”. Perhaps they have heard about it from their schoolmates where truth gets awfully twisted and the question might pop out like: “Is it true that sex is when the man puts his penis inside the girls butt?”.

The right time to tell children about where babies come from is as soon as possible when they become interested in it. Prolonging the answer will make it sound like something forbidden or secret which in return can end up in completely wrong conclusions about their sexuality.

Better not to leave it up to just the children’s books or pictures. You can use visual aids but ultimately the child wants to hear it straight from the person who he is developing a relationship of trust with. Sex is something fun that adults do, where the man puts his penis in not the ass of the woman but the vagina.

After a hugging and chatting session such as this, the little one might know more about having sex than the older students in school. Making your kid cooler and more knowledgeable!

Is The Red Theatre Performance Really So Good?

Aclaimed by the critics, preached by the creators and loved by the audience is the general opinion of the world famous Kung Fu show. However this is not that simple and Red Theatre in Beijing has its flaws even though it has been improved with great passion.

A lot of myth shrouds the theatre and some things might be understood superficially. Rather than a performance, it’s a show. The actors are not Shaolin monks, but trained martial art actors. That is because most of the Kung Fu teaching in China is aimed at students who want to make a career out of it and simply look good. In that sense it has lost the meaning of the original Kung Fu teachings.

This is also reflected in the story line which lacks any authenticity or teaching of what becoming a “Kung Fu master” really means. It’s simply because the story has been molded into show form and for some viewers it is evident that the storyline has not been prioritized.

So why does everyone love the Red Theatre? The answer is simple, it looks so damn good! The martial art is skillful, the dance and choreography is perfect, the music is enchanting. Overall a very beautiful production. So forget about any traditional philosophies and go to just enjoy as it is best enjoyed in the form of a spectacle that might at best even inspire your life.