Special circus show is a nod to Chinese culture
BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
The pageantry and flair of the circus collided with the culture of China in a special Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show for about 40 area children, many of whom were born in China.
The circus synergy made sense: This is, after all, the Year of the Dragon.
Guests at Friday’s special presentation at the Huntington Center included members of the Toledo chapter of Families with Children from China. The event also featured a performance by dancers from the Chinese Association of Greater Toledo.
From left, Bella Strauss, 7, Lily Nofziger, 7, and Becca Strauss, 4, all of Wauseon, enjoy a special performance by the circus on Friday. The Chinese Association of Greater Toledo and the circus partnered to celebrate the ‘Year of the Dragon’ by inviting local children from Chinese backgrounds and their parents to the show. THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY
Families were treated to the razzle-dazzle of circus acts, plus clowning, juggling, and nods to Chinese culture.
“I think it’s wonderful for them to have a link back to China,” said Laura Brewster, of Grand Rapids, Ohio, who brought her four children — two biological and two adopted — to the event.
Sun, left, and Qin, right, of the Kung Fu Kings, perform during Friday’s show. THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY
Ringling Bros. is in Toledo through Sunday to perform “Dragons,” a show with 130 performers plus animals. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, resplendent in a glittering suit and top hat, said the dragon-themed show is “catching fire,” and the circus wanted to host Friday’s free event for families with ties to China.
“We’re the missionaries of mirth,” Mr. Iverson said.
Children watched, and then joined in, as performers demonstrated kung fu skills. Entertainers spun Chinese yo-yos, and dancerstaught the children a hip-shaking, hand-clapping routine in an arena decorated with dragons.