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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

China's National Acrobats will stretch their legs in Louisville


Written by Ken Neuhauser

Oct. 24, 2011

Sun Lili takes a live-on-the-edge, daredevil approach to acrobatics — if a routine or stunt doesn’t have dangerous or difficult parts wrapped in grace, power and beauty, it’s simply not acrobatics, she says.And that’s what gives the National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China their entertainment value, said Sun, the touring show’s artistic director, through an interpreter. She added that her troupe’s 16 female and 22 male tumbling, umbrella-juggling, hand-standing, plate-spinning, gravity-defying dynamos from Beijing “specialize in what other people cannot do.”The National Acrobats are the first National Performing Arts Troupe established by the government of the People’s Republic of China, in 1950. The troupe is visiting 62 cities on its inaugural U.S. tour, with a stop in Louisville for a performance Wednesday at the Brown Theatre.“It is a very exciting tour for us to visit the U.S.A. We are going to many cities large and small and are pleased to give a diverse audience across America the opportunity to see acrobatics performed at the highest level,” said Sun.


She explained that the acrobatic tradition in China is more than 3,000 years old and was a popular amusement for both palace banquets and celebrations for the common people.The tradition has been handed down from generation to generation, with today’s performances more technical in their presentation, with lighting, music and colorful costumes made from modern fabrics but fashioned in the design of traditional Chinese dress and style.Acrobatics remain an integral part of Chinese identity, reflecting the character of Chinese people. It is important, stressed Sun, to show audiences that China is a developing, modern country and that the performers have a strong sense of humor and happiness that they “wish to share with the world.”Sun, a former acrobatic sensation, said that most of the performers began their acrobatic training at the age of 10 at the Beijing International Art School, where she is vice provost.read more:http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20111025/SCENE05/310250021/China-s-National-Acrobats-will-stretch-their-legs-Louisville?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CHome%7Cp

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