the country's main training school, Wu Qiao in Hebei Province, where students begin train-
ing at the age of 5. The style may be vaudeville, but performances are spectacular, with truly
awe-inspiring feats of dexterity - sixteen people stacked atop a bicycle and the like. Just as
impressive are martial arts displays, which usually involve a few mock fights and feats of
strength, such as breaking concrete slabs with one blow.
Beijing Workers' Club 北京工人俱乐部 , bĕijīng gōngrén jùlèbù 7 Hufang Lu 010
63528910; Caishikou subway (line 4). Popular for its “Legend of Jinsha” show, which adds
a few interesting quirks to the old acrobatic routines - silk-rope dancing, water cannon and
some zany motorbike stunts. Daily 5.30pm & 7.30pm; from ￥ 180.
Chaoyang Theatre 朝阳剧场 , cháoyáng jùchǎng 36 Dongsanhuan Beilu 010
65072421, chaoyangtheatre.com ; Hujialou subway (lines 6 & 10). If you want to see acro-
batics, come to one of the spectacular, colourful shows at this long-running venue, where the
stage size allows for the use of some impressive props - bicycles, swings, barrels and the like.
There are plenty of souvenir stalls in the lobby (make your purchases after the show rather
than during the interval, as prices drop at the end), and consider dropping into the on-site bar,
Red Theatre 红剧场 , hóng jùchǎng 44 Xingfu Dajie 010 67142473, redtheatre.cn ; Ti-
antandongmen subway (line 5). A lively kung fu routine featuring smoke, fancy lighting and
some incredible stunts. Daily 7.30-8.50pm; from ￥ 180.
CLASSICAL MUSIC VENUES
Traditional Han Chinese music is usually played on the erhu (a kind of fiddle) and
qin (a seven-stringed zither). Contemporary compositions tend to be in a pseudo-romantic,
Western-influenced style - easy on the ear, they can be heard live in upmarket hotels and res-
taurants. To hear traditional pieces, however, visit the concert halls. Westernclassicalmusic
is popular - the best place to catch it is the Beijing Concert Hall - as is jazz, which you can
Beijing Concert Hall 北京音乐厅 , běijīng yīnyuètīng 1 Beixinhua Jie 010 66057006,
thousand people and hosts regular concerts of Western classical and Chinese traditional mu-
sic by Beijing's resident orchestra and visiting orchestras from the rest of China and overseas.
Tickets from ￥ 80.
Century Theatre 世纪剧院 , shìjì jùyuàn Sino-Japanese Youth Centre, 40 Liangmaqiao Lu,
subway (line 10). An intimate venue for soloists and small ensembles, mostly Chinese mod-
ern and traditional classical compositions. Evening performances. ￥ 120-150.