Golden Dragon Acrobats


Golden Dragon Acrobats

Golden Dragon Acrobats

A man performs a headstand atop a very tall tower of chairs, and a woman balances a lamp as she twists upside down on a pedestal, her body bending like hot pizza dough, limbs merging.

This is not Ripley’s “Believe It or Not.” It is the stupefying, gravity defying Golden Dragon Acrobats, who  perform at the Palm Theatre Sunday, December 23, 7 p.m.

Think “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” But lose the special effects. Special effects are for amateurs.

World renowned impresario Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang combine award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty.

In China, acrobats are revered as much as opera singers in the West. Historical records provide evidence for the development of Chinese acrobats as far back as the Xia Dynasty 4,000 years ago, however, acrobatics did not become widely popular until the emperor embraced the discipline as court entertainment, about 2,500 years ago.

During the Han Dynasty (207 B.C. – 220 A.D.), acrobatics flourished and the wide variety of juggling, tumbling and magic acts came to be known as the “Hundred Entertainments.” Legend has it that when the Emperor Wu Di invited a group of foreign dignitaries to witness a performance, his guests were so impressed they agreed to enter into military alliances with their august host.

More contents and varieties were quick to develop. Musical accompaniment was soon added to the performance as interest in the art form grew among the emperors. During the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD) the number of acrobats greatly increased as the skills of each individual performer slowly began to become much more precise and bedazzling. Clowns, wrestlers, acrobats, singers and musicians who entertained the court by acting out mythical stories and famed fables were the precursors of the Peking Opera, a multi-faceted art form.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats embody the Chinese philosophy that good theatre must show the real struggle of humans to succeed and survive, as well as the joys of living. Their art form displays the grace, beauty, strength and agility of the human race, while making the seemingly impossible and virtually unbelievable seem as easy as building a city in the blink of an eye — another favorite Chinese hat trick.

Since these early times, acrobatics have evolved into many forms of performances including dance, opera, martial arts, and sports. However, the impact of Chinese acrobatics goes far beyond the boundaries of performance as it has served an important role in the cultural exchange between China and Western nations including the United States. The citizens of China continue to present their acrobatic art for the world today, as it portrays the hard working nature of their people and sets forth an example of the rich traditions of Chinese culture.

The 2012-13 tour will mark the 35th year of continuous touring in the United States for the Golden Dragon Acrobats, who traveled around the world to all 50 states and to over 65 countries on five continents. The members of the current touring company, who hail from Henan and Hebei, China, have performed in all 48 lower U.S. states within the last four years alone to sold out audiences in nearly every major market in the country.

The Golden Dragons remain the only Chinese acrobatic company touring year-round in the United States.

For a preview, watch the troupe in action in this video.

Advance reserved seating tickets for the Golden Dragon Acrobats are $28 for students and children; $36 for adults and may be purchased by visiting or by calling 970.369.5669.  Ticket prices increase by $5 at the door.

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