Friday, May 11, 2012

Award-winning performers in Chinese circus

(Published May 11, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

The Grand China National Acrobatic Circus, which previously performed in the country in December 2010, is back this week for a “grander, more heart-stopping experience.”

At the press preview in Gateway Suites, Cubao, two young, colorfully clad female gymnasts briefly demonstrated their skills, working in tandem on basic stunts. They were later joined by two other costumed performers.

According to Huang Bin, deputy director of the China Performing Arts Agency, the summer shows are different from older performances, but still retain the characteristically daring and “gravity-defying” presentations.

“We have new numbers like the ‘soft wire,’ an award-winning act, [performed by] this boy who is only 15 years old,” Huang said. “He has won an international acrobatic competition award.”

Huang added that familiar parts have been updated for this set. “There’s going to be over 20 people riding one bike,” he said. “This year, we also have some comic acts; [they’re] not clowns but they’re very comical. And we have some magic acts.”

The Chinese circus show, titled “Legends of the Dragon,” started its six-day run last Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Huang elaborated that the new theme intends to introduce something “deeper,” aside from previously unseen feats.

“In Chinese culture, it’s the year of the dragon. The show is something very new to Filipino people; we want to show Chinese culture, not just acrobatics. There will be around 40 performers onstage. We have prepared 14 to 16 acts. They’re so remarkable. They’re all award-winners!”

Huang also revealed that the group’s roster has changed since their last visit, and that the “Legends” show is part of an ongoing tour. “Some of the people are new faces … We have teams like this, and we’re touring all over the world. The total number of performers in our troupe is around 400,” he said.

(“Legends of the Dragon” runs until May 13. Photo by Marianne Bermudez.)

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