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Joburg Theatre gets an adrenaline rush

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Motorbikes being ridden upside down at speeds of up to 65km/h in the Globe of Death: contortion artists and the Wheel of Destiny are just some of the acts you will see the Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline show, coming to the Joburg Theatre next month.

Le Grand Cirque returns to Joburg Theatre with a brand new, turbo-charged show featuring some of the most extreme acts in the world. Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline is a jaw-dropping visual feast of the most dangerous, entertaining and thrilling Cirque acts combined with physical comedy routines and feats of skill and agility.

Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline will open on the stage of The Mandela at Joburg Theatre on May 23rd for four weeks only, until 17 June 2012.

Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline recently received rave reviews in its world premiere at Australia’s Sydney Opera House in its sold out season there. The Sydney Morning Herald declared ‘it defies gravity and belief’, while the Daily Telegraph wrote, ‘prepare to laugh yourself silly, gasp in awe and cringe in white-knuckled fear’.

‚This is a brand-new show focusing on the fastest, highest, most thrilling and unusual acts on earth,‚ says producer Simon Painter from the United States. ‚We have created a testosterone-filled event that really pushes the boundaries of human potential.‚

Featuring a hand-picked cast of 35 extreme athletes from around the world – including Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Mexico, Spain, Ukraine, Britain and the USA – Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline will capture the imagination of the entire family.

Witness the nail-biting Globe of Death performed by the French and Columbian team and directed by Danny Varanne. Three extreme athletes ride upside down on motorbikes and at speeds in excess of 65 km an hour inside of a 16-feet steel Globe cage. The Globe of Death is one of the most thrilling acts ever performed and its danger cannot be understated.

Marvel as identical twins bend their bodies in incredible feats of physical plasticity in Barrel Contortion.

Gasp as one of the world’s greatest aerial artists, Russia’s Petru Vasiachi, shows off his amazing strength and agility in Extreme Aerial Straps.

And of course no adrenaline-based show would be complete without the perilous and heart-pounding Wheel of Destiny: The most dangerous act ever to be performed in the world and now for the first time on a theatre stage in Africa! The version in Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline is a 35-feet high steel pendulum with two cages at either end and is performed by two of the best Brazilian circus artists in the world, Martin and Visan Espana. With no safety wires, crash mats or other safety apparatus, the Espanas will perform on the inside and outside of the wheel – even with blind folds and a skipping rope!

‚This show is designed to entertain, with the most incredible performers on earth and some of the greatest production elements you’ll ever see in an intimate theatre,‚ says Bernard Jay, Joburg Theatre’s CEO. ‚We want everyone who sees the show just to have a great night out. With comfortable seats, great sight-lines and affordable ticket prices, this is Cirque where you love to see it.‚

Tickets for Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline are available from R190 and are on sale now exclusively by visiting www.joburgtheatre.com or calling the theatre’s direct ticketing line on 0861 670 670.

Shows are at fromTuesdays to Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and on Sundays at 2pm and 6pm.

Discounted rates for groups of ten or more are available by calling the theatre’s ticketing office on (011) 877 6853/4.

Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline is presented in South Africa in association with M-Net.

Follow the latest Joburg Theatre news on Twitter – @joburgtheatre ‚ which gives you all the latest information, special offers as well as news from behind the scenes of Joburg’s world class theatre.

* Follow Gadget in Twitter on @gadgetza

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Planet Radio TV tune in on any device

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Planet Radio TV plans to be Africa’s first online broadcaster that allows its listeners to watch via Internet and satellite TV as well as listen via FM or Internet radio. SEAN BACHER visits its studios.

Planet Radio TV (PRTV) is broadcast much like any other terrestrial radio station, allowing its users to tune into it with a standard FM tuner. But its owner, Planet Image Productions, is about to launch two other means of tuning into the station.

In the coming month, MultiChoice will place a new satellite in orbit that will, by the new year, allow Planet to broadcast to subscribers via the satellite. Planet has also announced the PRTV app, which can be downloaded to Apple, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile devices, allowing users to stream the content to their phones and tablets.

‚”What makes this unique though is that our systems will automatically detect a user’s connection speed and stream content in a format that suits that speed, says Planet Image CEO Wale Akinlabi. ‚”For example, someone connecting through 3G will be able to view high-definition video and hear high-definition audio. A user with a slower connection will still be able to view and listen to the station, but at a lower quality.‚”

This, he believes, will eliminate the buffering issue which discourages many users from streaming video and audio to their devices.

The radio station comprises 80% African music, with the remainder being international, and is targeted at Africa’s youth.

‚”At PRTV we intend to change the way consumers view, listen and interact with television, radio and Internet mediums,‚” says Mabel Mabaso, chief operations officer and director at Planet Image. ‚”It is an exciting platform that synchronises three mediums, providing opportunities for consumers and advertisers alike.‚”

Planet RadioTV differentiates itself from other local broadcasters with its clever use of software and hardware. Planet Image uses a high-definition video-graphics (HDVG) rendering program, designed by Orad, an Israeli company specialising in TV production software. This software suite, combined with four Panasonic high-definition cameras, is able to detect and focus on a person’s voice. When the camera fixes on a voice, that camera is automatically activated and begins broadcasting. Should someone else begin talking, a separate camera will detect the voice and focus on that person.

The software controlling the cameras also performs basic video editing. Mabaso says that, although the initial cost of the equipment was more than that of standard cameras, it will prove well worth it, as it eliminates the need for a dedicated cameraman filming the show in the studio.

‚”Another payoff is that we don’t need that much office space,‚” she says.

Based in Randburg in Johannesburg, the studio is small in comparison to most others and the control room is just big enough for one person.

‚”The control room merely serves as a back-up should one of the cameras fail. It also allows us to control when and where visual adverts appear.‚”

The system is also tightly integrated with applications like Skype.

‚”We can interview someone overseas without having to send a crew there to perform recording. We simply communicate via Skype, making the interviewee’s Internet camera an extension of our own in-studio cameras.‚”

Besides featuring local and international music, the station has regular fashion, food and cooking, music and culture segments, which are broadcast to around 30 000 listeners around Africa.

Rounding up the technology aspect, PRTV has integrated Twitter and Facebook, allowing its listeners to interact with DJs.

Listeners can tune into Planet Radio TV by logging onto www.planetradio.co.za

* Follow Sean Bacher on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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Canon EOS M – small and simple

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Canon has extended the EOS range with the EOS M, its first compact system camera. Although not yet available in South Africa, the EOS M offers DSLR quality images and full HD recording in a compact, easy to use device.

Canon has expanded the EOS range with the launch of the EOS M. The company’s first ever compact system camera (CSC), the EOS M offers DSLR-quality imaging and full HD movie creation in a compact and easy-to-use model.

The EOS M is available in sleek black, glossy white, stylish silver or bold red colours, and condenses Canon’s EOS imaging heritage into a stylish, compact design. The model launches alongside two new lenses, the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom, as well as a new compact EX Speedlite the Speedlite 90EX. For those who want to push their images even further, the EOS M can also use Canon’s range of EF lenses with the new Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, for even more creative freedom.

The quality of a Canon DSLR

The EOS M’s high-resolution, 18 megapixel APS-C hybrid CMOS sensor also allows you to blur the background for beautiful portraits, or for close-ups with impact.

With the inclusion of Canon’s DIGIC 5 processor, colours ‚’pop’ and skin tones are beautifully natural, while a super-fast shutter allows you to capture split-second action.

Shoot what you see and easily express your creative vision

Every aspect of the EOS M has been designed to make it simple to capture high-quality images. With the high-resolution, 7.7cm (3.0‚”), Clear View LCD II Touch screen, the EOS M gives you as much or as little control over your photos as desired. Simply select different shooting modes and settings via the on-screen icons, or let Scene Intelligent Auto adjust the camera settings according to the subject and shooting conditions, leaving you free to focus on composition and selecting the perfect moment to hit the shutter release button.

Turn film-maker with EOS Movie and Video Snapshot

When a moment calls for more than a still image, the EOS M lets you switch to Full HD video with stereo sound.

Extending the EOS System with dedicated accessories

In addition to compatibility with Canon’s existing EF lenses, accessories and Speedlites, the EOS M launches with its own range of accessories. Two new EF-M lenses offer portability and high performance when using the new model the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom and the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens. Both feature new stepper motor technology for exceptionally smooth AF performance, as well as precision Canon optics, while their compact designs offer the perfect form-factor to complement the camera’s pocket-sized body.

Additionally, the EOS M will ship with the new Speedlite 90EX flash unit as standard. Lightweight and highly-compact, it offers a maximum guide number of nine and supports wide-angle lenses, making it an ideal general-purpose flash for everyday use. A wireless master function also allows the control of multiple flash guns wirelessly, allowing more advanced users to experiment with a range of creative lighting effects.

EOS M key features

· The quality of a digital SLR in a compact body

· Scene Intelligent Auto

· Be versatile with interchangeable lenses

· Create out-of-focus backgrounds for high impact

· Easy-to-use touch-screen

· Atmospheric photos in low light

· Full-HD video with Video Snapshot Mode

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