For Immediate Release ~ Artbeat Presents:
Sold-Out on Broadway!
Academy of Music Theatre Northampton, Mass
Sunday, March 13 at 2 pm
Astonishing athletes defy gravity and execute breathtaking feats as they stretch the limits of human ability in this spellbinding show. Fearless performers with boundless energy bring you more than two thousand years of Chinese circus traditions. If it’s humanly possible-and even if it’s not! – Shanghai’s acrobats, jugglers and contortionists do it with spectacular flair.
The New Shanghai Circus, “Cirque de Chine” is coming to Northampton’s Academy of Music, Sunday, March 13th for a 2 pm matinee performance, presented by Artbeat, Inc. The theater is located downtown at 274 Main Street. Tickets are available in person at Academy of Music Box Office ; Tuesday through Friday, 3 to 6 pm
and via telephone at: 413-584-9032 x105. Tickets range from $29 for adults and just $12.50 for youth 18 and under. Generous group discounts are available.
New Shanghai Circus has a company in residence and its own theater in Branson, Missouri. With a hundred theaters, Shanghai Circus is among the five most popular in town. They are also the only Chinese acrobatic troupe to play Broadway (see laudatory New York Times review)
CHINESE ACROBATS TUMBLING THROUGH HISTORY
The Chinese acrobatic tradition dates back to 700 B.C.; that’s over 2,000 years of tumbling, balancing and juggling. Ancient stone carvings, earthen pottery and early written work trace the ancestry of today’s spectacular acts. Relics tell the tales of famous acrobats like Confucius’ father, who is believed to have lifted a pair of 1,000-pound city gates to let an army storm through.
The art of Chinese acrobatics developed out of the Lunar New Year harvest celebrations, where the village’s peasants and craftsmen would hold a kind of Chinese Thanksgiving. Acrobats would use household tools and common items found around the farm and workshop as part of their exciting feats. Performers passed their skills down from generation to generation and great acrobatic families of China entertained everyone from city rulers to village people, performing at ceremonial carnivals and public theaters across the country.
Over the years, as China plunged into economic and social upheaval, many fine arts were lost and acrobats found themselves on the verge of extinction. Since the Revolution in 1949, the government has made great efforts to foster and develop traditional arts and culture in China, and acrobatics has enjoyed a new life.
Today only a few descendants of the old and famous acrobatics families remain. These individuals have organized China’s traditional entertainers into professional acrobatic troupes with formal academies for training young, promising entertainers and internationally renowned companies. Modern-day Chinese acrobatics reflect the industry, resourcefulness and courage of the Chinese people. At present, there are over 120 professional acrobatic troupes across China, and more than 12,000 performers.
Founded in 1951 as the Shanghai Acrobatic Theatre, The New Shanghai Circus has won more Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals in domestic and international circus competitions to date than any other Chinese acrobatic company. Breathtaking and polished to perfection, the singular skills performed by The New Shanghai Circus have their roots in everyday lives of the village peasants, farmers and craftsman of the Han Dynasty.
The following is a description of some of the acts and their origins:
Contortionism: Using strength and balance, contortionists gracefully bend themselves into beautiful and bewildering positions.
Foot Juggling: Performers use their feet to juggle rugs, jars, umbrellas and even a table.
Kung Fu: Acrobats tumble, flip, jump, kick and create intricate poses reminiscent of Chinese martial arts.
Slack Wire: A performer bounces on an elastic tight rope, while executing flips and turns in the air.
Spinning Plates: Acrobats dance and climb all the while balancing plates atop long sticks.