02/13/05 — A Review: Acrobats please audience

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A Review: Acrobats please audience

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on February 13, 2005 2:09 AM

They did it again!

Members of the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats gave an exciting performance that brought frequent applause and cheers from an audience of about 700 people Friday night.

The artists' presentation was the last one in a successful season for Wayne Community Concerts. Held at Dillard School, the acrobats amazed with feats of strength, balance and agility.

It wasn't easy, and it wasn't always perfect. There were a few mistakes, especially during an act in which performers spun objects that resembled spools on long ropes. A few of the spools got away, rolling across the stage.

But, mistakes aside, the performance was worthy of the enthusiastic response the audience gave.

Young men leaped through hoops and tumbled. A woman performed a number of turns and poses while holding a set of glasses on each of her feet, hands, forehead and in her mouth.

Chinese dogs, each made up of two men in a large, colorful costume, performed tricks, and one came down into the audience to rub against people sitting in aisle seats.

Seven women and three men jumped onto and rode a bicycle together, holding out open fans to add even more color and drama to the look.

A woman stood on a board placed on a roller and rolled side to side as she balanced, on her forehead, a long stem topped with three rounded objects. To add to the presentation, she also twirled a hula-hoop around her waist and hoops around her arms at the same time.

Perhaps the presentation that thrilled the audience the most was the chair act, in which a young man did acts of balance and strength on a stack of chairs. As each of the six chairs was added and a balancing pose struck, people applauded. The chairs raised the young man so high into the air that he touched the ceiling.

Members of the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats begin training as young as age four. During the first couple of years, they work on balancing, tumbling, dancing, flexibility and strength. Practices last five hours a day and take place six days a week.

After that, the young people begin rehearsing specific acts. Most will give their first performances when they have reached their mid-teens.

In China, these artists have the same status as ballerinas and opera singers have in the Western part of the world. It's easy to see why.

The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats' performance Friday was a return visit. The acrobats performed here two years ago. When Wayne Community Concerts asked its subscribers who they would like to see, the Chinese artists were requested again and again.

They were invited back and, from the response they received, are still an audience favorite.