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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Acrobats provide a glimpse of traditional China

    The Peking Acrobats perform somersaults, balancing acts and juggle effortlessly. The performers are selected from Chinas top acrobatic schools in order to impress all ages.
    The Peking Acrobats perform somersaults, balancing acts and juggle effortlessly. The performers are selected from China’s top acrobatic schools in order to impress all ages.

    Imagine six common household chairs on a stage. Now imagine six people balancing on the chairs, except the chairs aren’t balanced vertically, they’re balanced horizontally.

    The name of the act is Pagoda. It will be one of many acts performed by The Peking Acrobats, who hail from China.

    In another act, the acrobats will combine balancing on a bike and tumbling; when the acrobats balance on the bike, they make a human fan much like a peacock’s tail.

    Don Hughes, president of I.A.I. Presentations, has been working with The Peking Acrobats since 1986.

    “”Their first performance was at the University of Honolulu in Hawaii,”” Hughes said excitedly. “”I remember once for New Year’s, I celebrated with the group. They toasted the new year, but then went to sleep right after, which surprised me,”” Hughes said.

    Before that performance, the acrobats could only come with cultural exchange groups, so Hughes had to talk to China’s minister of culture to get his approval for the acrobats to tour.

    Hughes said to expect many surprises at the show, which will begin after a performance by musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments. There will also be a small Kung-Fu act amidst the contortions and balancing acts.

    The show’s visuals, according to Hughes, are meant to reflect mainland China – particularly the costumes, which range in color from bright pink to lime. The lighting further exaggerates the non-Western color combinations.

    “”Everything is traditional in the show,”” Hughes added. “”Look at the props on the stage. Everything there you can find at your home.””

    He explained that when the acrobats were working on new stunts, they couldn’t often venture from where they lived, so they had to depend on what they had around their homes.

    The Peking Acrobats will perform at Centennial Hall Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m.

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