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Back in Singapore after a successful run in 2013, this run of Le Noir brings with it several new acts, including one of the most complex circus stunts in the world – The Wheel of Death.

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Le Noir promises an evening of intimate cirque-style entertainment with a cast of world-class acrobats, musicians, specialty acts, and comedians, many of whom were formerly from Cirque du Soleil.  And it really will be an intimate affair.  Le Noir has seats for audience members right next to the stage – near enough to touch.  It doesn’t get more intimate than that.  The audience will also be ‘enclosed’ within a canopy of curtains designed from LED lights, adding to the atmosphere.

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The cast*

The Wheel of Dealth is an amazing circus act, guaranteed to make your jaw will drop. Colombians Angelo Lyerzkysky Rodriguez and Carlos Mayorga perform their act on a pair of spinning wheels.  Described as “certifiably crazy”, they leap and do tricks in the wheels as they spin.  And as if that weren’t crazy enough, Carlos climbs onto the outside of the wheel and performs a series of daredevils acts like skipping with a rope and doing a triple under. You’ll gasp, you’ll hold your breathe, you’ll love it. You have to see it for yourself.

Wheel of Death (Photo courtesy of BASE Entertainment)

Wheel of Death*

With no safety harness or crash mats, the possibility of a serious accident is very real. Angelo stressed that when they perform, nothing else goes through their minds.  “We need to be completely focused on what we are doing.  We pray, focus, and take care of each other,” he says.  Still, when asked why he does this he said the speed of the spinning wheels is what attracts him.  And it is clear from their expressions the passion they have for their art.

Angelo & Carlos

Angelo (left) & Carlos (right)*

 

The aerial lyra act performed by Thomas Worrell is another highlight to look out for. It is breathtakingly beautiful. A perfect juxtaposition of grace and strength.  His movements are as graceful and fluid as a ballet dancer’s.  And as it turns out, he started his career as a dancer before pursuing circus arts.  

Thomas shared that he choreographed the act himself and that it took only about two-and-a-half weeks to put together.  He added that this was possible because of the repertoire of moves he has mastered in his eight years of training.  Still, it wasn’t always easy for him.  At the climax of his performance, Thomas does an endless series of extremely fast, tight spins.  “When I first started I used to feel sick all day, but not anymore,” he shared. Thomas makes the aerial lyra look like child’s play.  His expression remains serene throughout, and you get no sense that he is under any physical strain or exertion.

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Aerial Lyra*

An extremely flexible Thomas on the lyra

An extremely flexible Thomas on the lyra

 

These are just two of the many thrilling acts featured in Le Noir.  Others include a hand balance act by American Two-time World Champion in Acrobatic Gymnastics, Shenea Booth, who also appeared on the historic first season of America’s Got Talent; and the duo trapeze act by identical twins Sarah and Karine Steben who were highlighted as the principal act in the celebrated Cirque du Soleil “O” at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Le Noir promises to be a spell-binding theatrical experience that engages every sense and has been designed to be enjoyed by audiences young and old.  Expect to be enthralled!

Le Noir runs at the Mastercard Theatre at the Marina Bay Sands from 7 June.  Tickets are available through SISTIC.

*All photographs courtesy of BASE Entertainment.

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Brought the boys to catch the Dinosaurs Dawn to Extinction exhibition at the ArtScience Museum.

Dino welcome

Dino welcome

It was touted as tracing the development of dinosaurs from the pre-dinosaur age of the Precambrian period to when dinosaurs appeared in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.  I was in particular looking forward to the Precambrian exhibit since none of the other dinosaur exhibitions we’ve been to covered this. Unfortunately, I found the coverage of the Precambrian period to be quite sparse.  There was one room dedicated to it with some exhibits and write-ups, but I guess I was disappointed because I expected a much more in-depth coverage of the period.

Moving from time period to time period, there was also just a short write-up about the changing times.  Mostly there were fossils and models on display, with some information about which dinosaurs or reptiles they were, the meaning of their names and their diet.

Greeted by a fierce Herrarasaurus

Greeted by a fierce Herrarasaurus

Tracing the timeline

Tracing the timeline

The interesting part, for me, was that many of the dinosaurs/reptiles on display were new to me and the kids.  We had not read or heard about many of them.  And the ones that we were familiar with were not usually shown at other exhibitions.  For example, we’ve never seen cynodonts or dicynodonts at other exhibitions.  My favourite was the Ischigualastia. I just thought it’s feet were so cute!  Yes, a bit of a strange word to use when it comes to fossils.  But it was rounded and looked padded.  Not the typical claws you’d expect from these creatures.  Of course once you complete it with teeth and flesh and skin it won’t be so cute anymore.

Cute feet right?

Cute feet right?

File:Ischigualastia skeleton.jpg

The whole Ischigualastia

Ellery’s favourite was the Saurosuchus, a type of reptile not a dinosaur.  It was huge!  And not a friendly looking fellow at all.

Saurosuchus eating some kids

Saurosuchus eating some kids

Asher liked the Sillosuchus because, in his words, “it’s skinny like me!”

Skinny Sillosuchus, and skinny Asher

Skinny Sillosuchus, and skinny Asher

And we got to see the Megalania too!  How exciting!  I didn’t expect to see it here because we had read about it when learning about prehistoric mammals (though this is a reptile, not a mammal.  It was one of the predators during that time).  This creature is from a much later period than the dinosaurs.

Megalania

Megalania

I liked that there were some real fossils interspersed among the replicas, and the boys would get excited and proclaim, “Mummy!  This is a real fossil!”  It was also nice that there were some stations where the kids could get some hands on fun too.

Lots of things to touch and feel

Lots of things to touch and feel

Trying to move like the dinosaurs

Trying to move like the dinosaurs

There was also an impressive display of what Liaoning, China, would have looked like in prehistoric times.  The boys had fun trying to spot the different creatures.

Transported to ancient Liaoning

Transported to ancient Liaoning

Psittacosaurus family by the pond

Psittacosaurus family by the pond

Confuciusornis (with the double tail) flying above

Confuciusornis (with the double tail) flying above

We ended up spending almost three hours at the exhibition, including 30 mins attending their paleontologist workshop where they explain what a paleontologist would do when digging up fossils.  They boys very much wanted to be picked as a volunteer, but unfortunately they weren’t chosen.  But at least the kids got to get up close to the demonstration materials after the workshop and look/touch some of the stuff.

Digging for fossils

Digging for fossils

Dinosaurs Dawn to Extinction runs until 27 Jul 2014, from 10am-7pm.  You can get your tickets from SISTIC and save $2, or buy directly at the ArtScience Museum counter.  There are dino shadow puppet shows daily from 10am-630pm, and a paleontologist workshop at 4pm.

Asher pretending to have the rounded head of the Koolasuchus Cleelandi

Asher pretending to have the rounded head of the Koolasuchus Cleelandi (the creature on the water behind him)

Attack!

Attack!

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