25 min | Documentary | 2017
THE FLIP SIDE presents the increasingly globalized circus world, where disparate people and acrobatic cultures come together, clash, and ultimately transform each other. We meet Daqi, a Chinese circus artist who leaves home at age 9 to train at an elite state-run circus academy. Restless after ascending to the zenith of the Chinese circus world, he leaves his stable “iron rice bowl” job to perform with Cirque du Soleil. Though Daqi possesses extraordinary technical skills, he has a difficult journey ahead to develop an artist’s expressive power. He eventually collides with Shana Carroll, a trapeze star who began with the San Francisco-based Pickle Family Circus, where she trained with a Chinese coach and even married the coach’s Chinese protégé, then has a stint with Cirque du Soleil. Daqi grows as an artist when he joins Shana’s circus troupe, 7 Fingers, whose intimate circus shows are based on the individual artists’ stories.
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