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Chinese Acrobats

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The start of Chinese performances seems to be lost in history. The earliest records found, date the art during the Qin Dynasty. During this time period, Jiaodi drama was a common art form within communities. Jiaodi consisted of performing acts, including martial arts, various forms of dance, juggling and musical acts. The Eastern Han Dynasty is when the first Chinese acrobats were introduced. However, it was not until the middle part of the 1990’s that acrobats performed a complete show. Chinese acrobats are extremely talented and disciplined many in specific areas of performance. Tightrope walking is usually performed either on a tight-wire or high-wire. The tight-wire is tensioned between Point A and Point B. The performer walks across the tight-wire while trying to balance at the same time. Many people will use a balancing pole or umbrella to maintain their balance. Some Chinese acrobats will even take it up a notch, by adding props, such as rings to the act, and still others will go even further by trying to spin plates or juggling while walking across. The high-wire is the same thing as a tight-wire, but it is stretched at a greater height. High-wires will sometimes go as high as 30 feet and above.

Chinese acrobats also practice plate spinning. Plate spinning is the art of spinning plates or bowls on top of poles. The Guinness World Record for the most plates spun is held by David Spathaky. In 1996, David spun 108 plates at the same time on TV in Thailand. 

Fire breathing is an incredible feat, but one that has to be done with caution. The fire ball that is created is done so by spraying a mist of fuel over an open flame. Most Chinese acrobats that perform this do so only with a fire blanket and a fire extinguisher close by. In fact, fire breathers who do this professionally have a clause in their insurance policy that states these two items must be nearby during the act.

A unicycle has one wheel, two pedals, a seat and no handles! The most common style of unicycling is freestyle. Freestyle is a performance based form of unicycling. Chinese acrobats who use the unicycle for performances look much like a figure skater on ice, executing graceful turns and tricks. Using strength an incredible balance, the cycle glides across the floor elegantly, while the performer makes it appear aesthetically pleasing.

Many Chinese acrobats practice contortionism. Contortion is the ability to flex and bend the body into a unique form of physical appearance. A contortionist has the natural ability to bend and stretch the body into all sorts of positions. Contortionists naturally have this ability, but they can enhance it by acrobatic training. Contortionists are considered either front benders or back benders, depending on which way their spine is most flexible.

These types of Chinese acrobats usually work in a group and perform a variety of entertaining and amazing feats. These shows are usually accompanied by a live orchestra to give the show added theatrics, so all you have to do is to sit back and enjoy the show.

Our Chinese acrobats ( ) will amaze and inspire your audience with death defeating feats of agility, skill and strength. For interesting facts about Chinese variety arts, you may visit Wikipedia.

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