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Entering the new 'Era' of 'Kaleido'

THE daily multimedia spectacular "Era - Intersection of Time" has captivated audiences for five years with its ingenious visual narrative connecting past and present China.

Its highly awaited and equally extravagant sequel, "Kaleido," premieres tonight at the renovated Shanghai Gong Stage. It will run daily and is expected to be staged for 10 years. "Era" continues.

"Kaleido" promises a lot more audience interaction.

The name is derived from kaleidoscope, a "spyglass" device showing endless patterns and possibilities. "Kaleido" refers to China's future and presents a back-to-the-future experience.

"Kaleido" is also a 100-minute multimedia show that combines Chinese acrobatics, martial arts, modern dance, singing, extreme sports and many other Chinese elements. "Kaleido" will provide a journey through time and a back-to-the-future adventure.

"The average age of our 'Kaleido' performers is only 20," says Zhang Liqing, a producer of the show. "They have unleashed their own imaginations about the future world in unique performances."

In addition to traditional Chinese acrobatic stunts, the show features urban games such as skateboarding and parkour, which is the unassisted moving through an urban obstacle course.

If you liked "Era," you'll love "Kaleido," which is a freer and more dynamic multimedia extravaganza taking viewers back to the future, according to the creative team.

In one fabulous scene, lights, smoke, mist and a water curtain create a crystal cave and underwater world. A dancing mermaid is ready to leave the water and witness a magnificent future.

Targeting visitors from around the world, it has an impressive creative team. The director is Eric Villeneuve, a veteran Canadian artist and choreographer, who directed "Era" and the cultural gala in 1997 at the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Vancouver.

The team includes lighting director Alain Lortie and music director Michel Cusson.

The show's 200 or so costumes are designed by Michel Robidas, who has designed outfits for French-Canadian divas such as Celine Dion, Diane Dufresne and Ginette Reno. Each garment is exceptional and suits the scenes. One costume is decorated with mini LED lights shining mysteriously in the dark.

The score is performed by a one-man band, who with the help of music software, plays keyboard, trumpet and saxophone on his own.

Many Chinese performers are enjoying their collaboration with the foreign creative team.

Qiu Dawei, a 14-year-old acrobatic performer who plays the mermaid, says she has learned many performing skills, especially how to unleash her own emotional power and act naturally on stage.

According to Chen Tao, a marketing manager of the show, the market positioning and strategies of "Kaleido" will be different from those of "Era."

"'Kaleido's unparalleled downtown location enables it to attract more business visiting guests and independent tourists," Chen said.

Date: Daily starting from today, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Gong Stage, 1 Xizang Rd S. (by Yan'an Rd M.)

Tickets: 80-580 yuan

Tel: 5109-9910, 6311-3330


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