Yes, it is called the Guilin Minority Show and yes, it is marketed as a showcase of the local areas ethnic minority people for the Han Chinese tourists (mostly) and yes, it is possible one of the weirdest things we have seen.
It started off with a complete anti climax actually, we arrived at the time we were supposed to and sat down in our seats in a sea of other empty seats around us. Then the lights dimmed and the show was about to start, a presenter woman came on in a pretty dress and started to introduce the show. Around this time a bus load of tourists arrived and started a Chinese sort of din. You’ll only know what I mean if you’ve spent time in China, it’s quite a unique sort of public noise where everyone seems to speak at once and at the top of their voices. Suddenly, the audience was lit from the stage and a table was carried out to the front of the theatre.
This man started painting Chinese characters in the calligraphy style, and then they were handed up onto the stage and there was an auction!!
The girl on the right looks either bored or offended. So members of the audience bought these one of kind art works that were produced in the hall. Not what we were expecting but it was kind of cool.
When the ACTUAL show started the audience didn’t really shut up so the volume of everything is turned up to max to try to drown them out. There was a rough story which was explained in English, but it basically just allowed them to showcase lots of different acrobatic performances…
All of which was pretty impressive when you could see through the selfie sticks!
As it continued the performances got more and more wacky and surreal.
This included pole dancing,
and people being swung around by the neck(!)
and then many young boys climbing onto a moving bike.
We were starting to think that this ‘minority’ show, supposedly portraying skills of the ethnic minority groups of Southern China, could not get much weirder.
But then a giant metal ball was brought onto the stage amid lightning and incredibly dramatic music.
Then not one, not two, not three but FOUR motorcyclists got inside, highly coordinated and narrowly missing each other at every turn.
It was insane and mind-blowing but probably NOT what people do in their villages in rural China?!
The biggest cheer of the night came when the four motorcyclists took off their helmets and it turned out that one of them was a WOMAN. It must have broken so many cultural stereotypes that a female was capable of being a highly skilled motorcyclists.
After that everyone filed out of the hall in their tour groups and went home. Surreal experience done.