New Chinese Acrobats tumble into Park City
What: New Chinese Acrobats
When: 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26
Where: Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd.
A night of Chinese culture and gymnastics mixed with European-flavored dance will leap onto the stage when the Park City Institute presents a special performance of the New Chinese Acrobats at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts on Friday.
The performance is “special” because it isn’t officially part of the Institute’s seasonal programming, said Executive Director Teri Orr.
The “new” European aspect of the acrobat show comes through a partnership with Cirque Eloize, a contemporary circus based in Montreal.
“The Park City Institute has presented both Chinese acrobat and Cirque Eloize shows before,” Orr said. “The fact that Cirque Eloize took on the company to modernize the show and make it more exciting appealed to us.”
Fusing disciplines doesn’t mean tossing tradition out the window, according to Orr.
“Cirque Eloize is very theatrical and spectacular in how they present their elements of dance and acrobatics,” she said. “The technical wizardry of the New Chinese Acrobats’ movement is every bit as amazing as their Cirque colleagues, but add an element of Chinese folk art, mixed with modern artistry.”
The show includes acts that won awards at global festivals such as the Monte Carlo Circus Festival and World Circus Festival of Paris, so the audience can expect to see everything from spinning plates and hoop diving to complex pyramid moves that incorporate jump ropes, according to Orr.
“Anyone who has seen Chinese acrobats will know there is a lot of ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ from the audience,” she said. “This will have that, but also have a more refined dance element. Whether the artists are creating movement art while climbing on suspended fabric, or using an ancient Chinese artform set to contemporary music, the show will be featuringacrobats displaying this troupe’s brand of elegant athleticism.”
The acrobats’ agent contacted Orr during the spring of this year to see if she was interested in presenting their aerial feats in October.
“We felt that Park City is ready to have more year-round programming in addition to the two seasons we do schedule each year,” she said. “So we jumped at the chance, because we wanted to spread ourselves throughout the year.”
New Chinese Acrobats isn’t just an entertaining production, Orr said. It’s also a cultural experience, and she’s excited Park City enjoys and supports ones like it.
“There was a time when the only thing Park City offered was community theater at the Kimball Art Center,” she said. “We had to move the walls and take the art down to do a few-person play. Then we’d have to put all the art back on the walls for the next day. So the fact that there are places that can support audiences of hundreds of people who bring their whole family is very satisfying.”
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