“Cirque Shanghai Extreme” is all new for 2011 at Navy Pier® PEPSI® Skyline Stage this summer June 23 – September 5

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 World Premiere Production Features Jaw-Dropping Motorcycle on a Wire Aerial Act, Action Packed Sword Fighting Feats and Thrilling New Twists on Family Favorites
All Kids’ Tickets $15!


Chicago, IL – Cirque Shanghai tumbles into Chicago’s Navy Pier this summer with an all new, awe-inspiring show “Cirque Shanghai Extreme,” beginning Thursday, June 23. The world premiere production will run through September 5, 2011 (Labor Day), rain or shine, at the Navy Pier® Pepsi® Skyline Stage, the 1,500-seat, canopied, open-air theater on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. New this year, tickets for kids ages 3 – 12 are only $15 for any seat in the house. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 20 at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets.
“Cirque Shanghai Extreme”is a brand new spectacle for audiences of all ages, featuring performers direct from China who are leaders in their craft of tumbling, juggling, balancing and more. This year’s production features an incredible line up of new death-defying acts, including a motorcyclist traveling on a wire highabove the audience at the Navy Pier® Pepsi® Skyline Stage with a woman trapeze artist performing underneath.
Audiences will gasp at the new Shaolin Kung Fu sword fighting sequence and be dazzled by the Floating Cube aerial act featuring a 5 ft.-long cube suspended above the stage with artists performing amazing balancing feats inside. China’s finest daredevil motorcycle troupe, “Imperial Thunder,” returns with even more thunder, now with four motorcyclists performing in Cirque Shanghai’s largest steel globe to date.

Directed by Miao Miao Chen and with choreography by Chicago’s Brenda Didier, “Cirque Shanghai Extreme” is presented in this exclusive U.S. engagement by Navy Pier in conjunction with International Special Attractions, Ltd. (ISA) production headquarters in Shanghai, China. 
“We have taken the production to a new level of ‘wow’ this year, and are thrilled to share the world premiere of ‘Cirque Shanghai Extreme’ with Chicago,” said Gary Fjelstad, vice president of ISA. “Featuring the finest performers, who were cast directly from China, the new show in jam-packed with amazing, gravity-defying feats that the entire family will enjoy.”
Audiences and critics alike rave about “Cirque Shanghai.” The Chicago Tribunehails the production to be a “beguiling, sophisticated and contemporary 75-minute show, replete with some bravura acrobatics and infused with fabric-strewn visuals,” and the Chicago Sun-Timesraves “ ‘Cirque Shanghai’ has been an especially bright spot on Navy Pier…bringing young, talented acrobatic troupes and first-rate production values to the canopied, open-air Skyline Stage.” Time Out Chicago says, “Jaw-dropping, aerobatic stunts…adults will enjoy this show every bit as much as kids.”
ISA is the first company dedicated to two-way entertainment trade between China and the U.S. The company began working with Chinese acrobatic troupes in 1996 and is now the largest presenter of foreign entertainment in China as well as Chinese entertainment and attractions into North America. In addition to their work in the field of Chinese acrobatics, ISA also produces ICE! at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Centers in Nashville, Orlando, Dallas and Washington D.C. At each Gaylord location, ICE! is a spectacular indoor walk-thru attraction consisting of nearly two-million pounds of ice carved into the icons of Christmas. ISA has offices in the United States and global headquarters in Shanghai.
Haiping Ge, President and CEO of ISA, is a graduate of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and has been closely involved in the Chinese entertainment industry his entire professional life. After six years with the Shanghai Opera Institute, he joined the Shanghai Cultural Exchange Agency and hosted many of the first Western entertainers to perform in China.
Miao Miao Chen is a second-generation performer as well as the show’s director.  She studied with the internationally famous Shenyang Performing Arts Academy since the age of five, and joined the acclaimed Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe, one of the top ten troupes in all of China, at age 13. Chen is the recipient of a Gold Lion Award from the International Acrobatics Competition in France, and received the top award for Best Innovative Performance in Uruguay. Chen has performed throughout the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia. In 2006 and 2007, Chen worked as a choreographer for “Le Grand Cirque” which has toured in cities across Australia, the United Kingdom and United States. Chen directed previously directed hit productions of “Cirque Shanghai” in 2009 and 2010.
Brenda Didier, a well known and multi award winning figure in Chicago theater, is a freelance choreographer based in Chicago and Owner/Artistic Director of the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance, now celebrating its 11th anniversary. With “Cirque Shanghai Extreme” she reunites with Hase with whom she collaborated on “Cirque Shanghai: Cloud 9” and “Cirque Shanghai: Gold.” 
Her choreography credits include “The Kenny Rogers Christmas Tour,” “Cirque Shanghai: Bai Xi,” “Cirque Shanghai: Bright Spirit,” Mayor Richard Daley’s Millennium Campaign for the City of Chicago, Miss Illinois Pageant, Dennis DeYoung’s Jeff Award-winning production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the House of Blues, the Goodman, the Apollo, the Mercury, Theatre Building Chicago, Teatro Vista, Emerald City, the Bailiwick, Theo Ubique, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble, Porchlight Music Theatre, the International Thespian Festival, Six Flags Great America and Busch Gardens’ theme parks.  She has served as guest choreographer/instructor at Carthage College, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Illinois, Columbia College Chicago and Northwestern University.  Didier is the recipient of 7 Jeff nominations, 2 Jeff Awards, 2 After Dark Awards, 2 Choreography Awards from the Academy of Theatre Artists and Friends and the National Youth Theatre Award (High School level).  Her most advanced students have completed summer programs with the Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Chicago, Ballet Met and The Milwaukee Ballet.

“Cirque Shanghai Extreme”performance schedule is as follows:
Wednesday at 2, 4 and 7:30 p.m.  
Thursday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Friday at 2, 4 and 8 p.m.
Saturday at 2, 6 and 8 p.m.
Sunday at 12, 2 and 5 p.m.
A special pre-fireworks performance has been added, Monday, July 4 at 7:30 p.m. The Navy Pier fireworks show will take place at 9 p.m. that evening.
Ticket prices range from $15 – $32.50 (does not include handling fees). Tickets are only $15 for children ages 3 – 12 for any seat in the house. Children two and under are welcome and admitted free of charge. 
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 20 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available by calling 800-745-3000 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com/shanghai. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are now available by calling GroupTix at 773.327.3778 or visiting www.grouptix.net. For more information on “Cirque Shanghai Extreme” visit www.cirqueshanghai.com.       
Located on Lake Michigan, just east of Chicago’s downtown, Navy Pier is the most-visited tourist and leisure destination in the Midwest, welcoming more than 8 million visitors annually.  Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, it is now one of the country’s preeminent recreation and exposition facilities, showcasing 50 acres of parks, gardens, restaurants, shops, attractions, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exhibition facilities and more.

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