Hailing from the People’s Republic of China, The Peking Acrobats, a troupe of the country’s most gifted tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists and gymnasts will bring their 2,000-year-old tradition of acrobatics to Macon to premiere at The Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of Mercer University, for a three-day run.
Educational performances are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Tuesday-Thursday, Feb. 20-22, and a public performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22. Tickets for the evening performance are $24 and $18 for students or groups, and are available through Mercer Ticket Sales at (478) 301-5470 or online at thegrand.mercer.edu.
The Peking Acrobats performances are part of Mercer University’s GrandKids Arts Education Series. Teachers who wish to bring a class to one of the daytime performances should contact Mercer Ticket Sales to register.
Performances in the series include an educational preparatory video lesson that is aired on Cox Channel 15 and a GrandKids Gazette worksheet located online in the GrandKids section of thegrand.mercer.edu. The educational video for the Peking Acrobats will air on WCOX15 at 8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. each weekday between Tuesday, Feb. 13, and Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Cox Communications provides this service as part of their sponsorship of the GrandKids program and The Grand Opera House.
The Peking Acrobats played to sold-out houses and earned rave reviews during their 20 previous headline theatre tours from 1986 through 2006. They have performed all over the world to standing ovations and packed houses in Australia, Europe, throughout the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and numerous Asian countries.
When The Peking Acrobats returned to Broadway in New York City, their three-week engagement was sold-out. Their latest U.S. tour began in January and continues through April.
Daring maneuvers atop a precarious pagoda of chairs, treacherous wire walking, powerful precision gymnastics, and amazing displays of contortion, flexibility and control showcase their tremendous skill and ability. Accompanied by an exotic Chinese orchestra, the Acrobats transform the stage into a magnificent Chinese Carnival.
“The physical feats of The Peking Acrobats seem almost…surreal, defying laws of body mechanics and physics. It’s like watching ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ LIVE, without camera tricks creating special effects. All the members of this troupe are amazing athletes with grace and charisma in addition to their razor-sharp precision…everything entertainment should be, uplifting, awe-inspiring and an exploration of the full extent of human potential. When a show can fill you with the wonder of a 10 year-old, you know you have had a good time…that’s success!” said Angela Jones of Dance Insider.
Because of the unusual and difficult nature of the feats involved, high honor is conferred upon those skilled enough to become acrobats; an acrobat can be considered the Chinese equivalent of an American opera star. In China, approximately 100,000 acrobats study at schools dedicated to the art. After a decade of extensive tutoring, often beginning as early as age 5 or 6, the student will join a professional troupe. Only the best acrobats become members of an elite world-touring troupe, such as The Peking Acrobats. For centuries, dating back to the Ch'in Dynasty (221 B.C. - 207 B.C.), Chinese acrobats have continued to perfect an evolving folk art form. Tradition demands that each generation of acrobats add its own improvements and embellishments.
Each new movement or action takes many years to practice and perfect. Those who have seen The Peking Acrobats on any of their previous tours can be assured that they will see new, exciting acts and new twists to their old favorites! It is telling that the Chinese Acrobatic tradition just gets stronger, due to the continued innovation of the artists and the endless enthusiasm from their adoring public.
Now, 2,000 years of tradition, perfection and spectacle comes to The Grand Opera House. For tickets and information about the Macon performance, contact Mercer Ticket Sales at (478) 301-5470 or visit thegrand.mercer.edu.
The Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of Mercer University, is a historical 1,000-seat theatre located in downtown Macon, Ga. The Grand brings the very best in live, professional performing arts and entertainment to Central Georgia. In addition to its popular Broadway Series of nationally-touring productions and its GrandKids Arts Education Series for elementary, middle and high school students, The Grand hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. It is also home to the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the Central Georgia Opera Guild and The Nutcracker of Middle Georgia. For a complete schedule of upcoming performances, contact Mercer Ticket Sales at (478) 301-5470 or visit thegrand.mercer.edu.
# # #