Circus from Beijing features thrilling acrobatics, feats of endurance
Story by Diane Carroll
Sep. 21st, 2012
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The National Circus of the People's Republic of China will show off its hair-raising acrobatics and mind-blowing feats of endurance when it performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in the Carlsen Center's Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College.
The company from Beijing will perform its Cirque Chinois family show as part of its Coast-to-Coast tour of the United States and Canada.
Tickets, which are $46 and $37, are available from the college box office at 913-469-4445 or at jccc.edu/TheSeries.
The circus company, founded in 1953, is one of the longest-running and most distinguished troupes in China. It made a profound contribution to the circus world during the 1980s when it started to change the concept of the animal circus to one without animals.
The change influenced the then-pioneers of Cirque du Soleil, who invited coaches from the company to teach them acts such as Balancing Chairs and Bicycle and Chinese Poles. That effort culminated in the revolutionary program called Circus Reinvented!
The unique acts in the Cirque Chinois show include the Great Teeterboard, Grand Flying Trapeze, Group Contortion, Straw Hats Juggling and Girls' Balance with Bowls.
Many of the artists in the troupe have won international awards. They include Ms. Li Liping, the first Golden Clown winner from China at the renowned Monte Carlo International Circus Festival, and Madame Xia Juhua, the "Chinese Ulanowa" of the Circus World and chairwoman of the International Chinese Circus Society since the early 1980s.
The company has won more than 20 gold and silver medals and other awards at festivals, including the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival, the Wuqiao International Circus Festival and the Wuhan International Circus Festival.