National Acrobats Of Taiwan Tickets
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National Acrobats Of Taiwan
Acrobats doing handstands on stools stacked 30 feet high, a handful of women balancing groups of spinning plates on rods, jugglers spinning large pots on their head, elbows and feet are just some of the spectacular delights presented by the National Acrobats of Taiwan (Republic of China).
Returning to Sacramento for their first visit to the region since 1998, the National Acrobats of Taiwan are distinctive for their use of ordinary household items--tables, chairs, ladders, bowls, plates and jars--in their performances.
Since the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 240 A.D.), dramatic folk arts and variety shows have reflected the deepest roots of Chinese civilization. The performers' precise movements and flexible showmanship have provided entertainment to people from all walks of life for centuries. Associated with the esteemed Fu Hsing Dramatic Arts Academy of Taipei, 35-member National Acrobats of Taiwan upholds the over 2,500-year tradition of acrobatic and dramatic folk arts that are an intrinsic part of Chinese cultural history.
The National Acrobats of Taiwan's artistic director, Lo Jih-Hung, was born in 1949 and was educated at the Peng-xiang County Acrobatic Institute in Jiang-xi Province, mainland China. After performing as a magician throughout Southeast Asia in the early 1970s, Mr. Lo was hired as a magician/comedian for the Tonight television show in Hong Kong. He then went on to host numerous television shows in Asia, including the variety magic show Ha Ha and little Sweet in 1976. From 1984 to 1990, Mr. Lo served as co-director of the Golden Dragon Acrobats which toured throughout the United States and Canada, most notably performing at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. From 1988 to 1991, Mr. Lo performed in the Diamond Stage Show in Taipei, and he continues to organize television productions of acrobatics and magic.
In 1991, Lo Jih-Hung joined staff of the Fu Hsing Dramatic Arts Academy as a performer and in 1995 he managed the Clown Magic Show at the Academy. He toured North America and Europe as part of the Han Kuang Goodwill Mission and was featured as a guest artist of the Shanghai Magic Festival in 1997. He also toured Central and South America in that same year with the Acrobatic Troupe of the Republic of China in a tour sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taipei. Mr. Lo was honored as a judge in the National Magic Contest in Guei-lin Province, mainland China. In July 1998, he was named artistic director of the National Acrobats. Lo Jih-Hung is a Commission Member of the Taipei Craft and Dancing Art Guild, and has received the Public Welfare Award in Taipei (1991), Outstanding Performance Award from the Taiwan Provincial Government (1996), and the Mayor's Award (1998). He was also named outstanding performing celebrity in mainland China in 1995.
The National Fu Hsing Dramatic Arts Academy was originally founded as a private school by Mr. Zhenzu Wang in Taipei in 1957. It became the National Academy in 1968, with the purpose of training actors and actresses for the traditional Chinese and Taiwanese Performing Arts. The Chinese Acrobatic Department was established to produce the folk acrobatic arts, and the Dramatic Music Department was set up to cultivate traditional dramatic musicians. In 1994, the Taiwanese Opera Department was added. The students are tutored by masters in a regimen of physical skills, acrobatics, magic, dance, and martial arts, as well as stage gestures, lighting, sound effects, and properties.
Fu Hsing now has two performing theaters, a multi-media room, and an exhibition hall for costumes and properties of Chinese Opera. The Academy is working on collecting and publishing numerous Chinese opera scripts, dramatic historical textbooks, and also issuing video tapes. All of these materials are for the purpose of education, promotion and research of traditional arts, which is the Academy's main mission. In August 1999 the Fu Hsing Dramatic Arts Academy joined with the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts to become one of the largest and most prestigious in Asia.
The National Acrobats of Taiwan have toured the world as the Republic of China's national acrobatic troupe and are considered to be China's foremost company. The masters and students of the Fu Hsing Academy present more than 500 performances each year, both domestically and overseas. In the Autumn of 1998, the National Acrobats completed a highly-acclaimed three-month coast-to-coast tour of the United States and Canada. The company now returns to North America for a Winter/Spring 2002 performance season.
The synchronization of waving flags and tumbling is one of the classic exhibitions of the Chinese acrobatic art form. This exhibition demonstrates many of the most popular acrobatic movements, choreographed into and entertainment spectacular.
The Diabolo is a special acrobatic spinning-wheel based upon an ancient Chinese child's toy. Accompanied by a traditional Chinese melody, the acrobats throw, coil, toss, and cross diabolos with dexterity and finesse. This ancient skill has been revived and will enrapture the contemporary audience.
The use of the feet by Chinese acrobats will create amazement and even suspicions of witchcraft! Their performance is accompanied by a lively melody, two girls dance with and shuttle through hoops and barrels. This acrobatic performance demonstrates the difficulty of balancing on chairs! A unicycle rider kicks four bowls up into the air to land on the top of his head! This balancing skill is topped when more than ten acrobats ride a single bicycle and perform even more astounding feats.
Originating in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-240 AD), the ancient skill of plate dancing is demonstrated with incredible mastery. The plates are balanced on sticks representing the hands of the Phoenix. One of the great traditions of Chinese acrobatics is the inclusion of the Clown, who combines humor and stunning acrobatic techniques.
An elegant actress balances candlesticks on the soles of her feet, her forehead, hands, and even on her mouth. By candlelight, the audience will enjoy a graceful and brilliant dance. In this astounding feat, a female acrobat climbs up a ladder, held by a male performer. She enacts handstands and other remarkable skills of balance and agility. Our magician astounds and amuses the audience with ancient tricks and games. This concluding performance combines many acrobatic feats into a spectacular grand finale!