The New Shanghai Circus will be showing Saturday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the John W. Hart Building Auditorium.
There will be a pre-show dinner from 6-7 p.m. in the Manwaring Center Special Events Room, according to the BYU-I Center Stage Web page. Each ticket will be $15 per person.
“The New Shanghai Circus is a group of acrobats from China owned by United Entertainment Company, created by Mr. Lizhi Zhao,” said Wei Gu, the New Shanghai Circus tour manager.
Gu said Mr. Zhao had a vision for the Chinese Arts, especially Chinese acrobats.
“He first came to the United States in the 1990s and decided to create a company in America to help Chinese acrobatic performers and Chinese Arts going abroad,” Gu said. “This year, the troupe is from Jinan, China.”
The Jinan Troupe is one of the most skilled and highly awarded Chinese acrobatic troupes, according to the Acrobats of China website.
“At present, there are over 120 professional acrobatic troupes across China and more than 12,000 performers,” according to the BYU-I Center Stage Web page.
The company recruits the best acrobatic troupes in China every year, then brings them to the United States, Gu said. The company’s goal is to build a bridge between America and China through art.
“The show we are going to be performing this year combines acrobatic skills, entertainment and Chinese stories,” Gu said. “It is great to learn a little bit more about China while enjoying a high-quality acrobatic performance.”
Gu said that in order to reduce injury among the performers and keep the quality of the show, the performers practice almost everyday.
“The practice includes basic gymnastic skills, martial arts, fitness training, acrobatic skills and stage performance,” Gu said. “We have individual training and also team training. Because most of our acts requires team play, we pay lots attention to raise tacit understanding between members.”
Gu said he sees the show almost everyday, maybe over 200 times, but he is still attracted to it.
“The show is wonderful, and it is always changing,” Gu said. “I can perceive performers’ passion and professionalism from the stage. We are always seeking for improvement and finding a better way to entertain our audience.”
Chinese acrobatics began as village peasants and craftsmen held a kind of Chinese Thanksgiving during Lunar New Year harvest celebrations, according to the BYU-I Center Stage Web page.
“Acrobats would use household tools and common items found around the farm and workshop as part of their exciting feats,” according to the BYU-I Center Stage Web page. “Performers passed their skills down from generation to generation and great acrobatic families of China entertained everyone from city rulers to village people.”