Published on March 12th, 2014 | by TLV News0
Peking Acrobats to Perform Fantastic Feats at the Ford Center March 15
Since their Western debut in 1986, The Peking Acrobats have redefined audience perceptions of Chinese acrobatics. They perform daring maneuvers atop a precarious pagoda of chairs; they are experts at trick-cycling, precision tumbling, somersaulting, and gymnastics. They defy gravity with amazing displays of contortion, flexibility, and control. They push the envelope of human possibility with astonishing juggling dexterity and incredible balancing feats, showcasing tremendous skill and ability. They are masters of agility and grace. Often accompanied by live musicians skillfully playing traditional Chinese instruments and high-tech special effects that coalesce with the music and awe-inspiring feats to create an exuberant entertainment event featuring all the excitement and festive pageantry of a Chinese Carnival!
The Peking Acrobats have been featured on numerous television shows and celebrity-studded TV specials including Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous, Ellen’s Really Big Show (TV Special with host, Ellen DeGeneres), The Wayne Brady Show, That’s Incredible, ABC’S Wide World of Sports, as well as NBC’s Ring In the New Year Holiday Special. They set the world record for the Human Chair Stack on Fox’s Guinness Book Primetime TV show where they astounded audiences with their bravery and dexterity as they balanced six people precariously atop six chairs 21 feet up in the air without safety lines!
The Peking Acrobats are also making the scene on the silver screen as company members were featured in Steven Soderbergh’s hit film Ocean’s 11, and alumnus Shaobo Qin also appeared in the two sequels, Ocean’s 12 and Ocean’s 13. These appearances reaffirm The Peking Acrobats’ commitment to bringing their unique and ancient art form and tradition into the 21st Century.
In February of 2005, The Peking Acrobats premiered in Italy where they astounded Italian audiences with their incredible talents. This five-week, twelve-city tour took them to Milan, Pisa, Bologna, Naples, and many other fascinating and exciting cities in Italy. The performers endeared themselves to the Italian audiences where they performed stellar shows to sell-out crowds. Their opening in Milan was a spectacular media event that was covered nationally by the Italian press. All of Italy knew that The Peking Acrobats had come to entertain the Italian people with their unique artistry. In city after city, the reviews were filled with accolades attesting to their superb performances—they were the toast of every city they visited! They look forward to many more such tours as they bring their ancient artistry to ever-widening audiences.
The ability to perform the astounding is rooted in centuries of Chinese history and folk art. Records of acrobatic acts can be found as early as the Ch’in Dynasty (221 B.C. – 207 B.C.) and Chinese acrobats through the ages have continued to perfect what has become an evolving folk art form. Tradition demands that each generation of acrobats add its own improvements and embellishments. Because of the unusual and difficult nature of the feats involved, high honor is conferred upon those skilled enough to become acrobats; an acrobat can be considered the Chinese equivalent of an American opera star. It is telling that the Chinese acrobatic tradition just gets stronger, due to the continued innovation of the artists and the endless enthusiasm from their adoring public.
A performance by The Peking Acrobats, therefore, brings with it the opportunity to view the epitome of a rich and ancient folk art tradition, highlighted by today’s technology melding the ancient and traditional with the modern wonders of the 21st Century. As The Seattle Times reports: “Nearly everything The Peking Acrobats did last night was amazing—and stunning, and breathtaking, and WOW!” and Clive Davis of The New York Post sums it up thusly: “The Peking Acrobats [are] pushing the envelope of human possibility. Pure artistry!”
This article was originally printed in The Local Voice #199 (published March 6, 2014). To download a PDF of this issue, click HERE.