No Bones Were Broken in the Making of Peking Acrobats


Loud music blares as men dressed as Chinese dragons emerge into the audience. Peking Acrobats interacted with the audience from start to finish, beginning with an elaborate celebratory dance routine. Their performance is nonetheless jaw dropping and it’s even more baffling to realize that records of their acrobatic acts can be found from as early as 221 B.C.-207 B.C during the Ch’in Dynasty.

All the way from China, Peking Acrobats arrived at the Zeiterion with (what seemed like) an intent to make the audience audibly react. Although the whole show should be highlighted, among the few best routines included: 1. The sets of two comedic men to come out and “juggle” plates, climb ladders in mid air, and slide back and forth between a tube, 2. Women performing aerial silk, and 3. A woman who balanced glasses of water on her feet, hands, as well as in her mouth.

When you watch the Peking Acrobats perform it  involves a battle with yourself as you’re already thinking “I can’t even do a handstand,” whereas they continue to do headstands, splits, contortion, splits, and all the while they are nailing these feats while on a weird platform like a unicycle. Although you feel like your heart stops a good few times, the Peking Acrobats planned their show in a timely fashion; the men would come and perform their intense and loud routine with the women to follow in suit as the music becomes less exhilarating but the performance is even more heart wrenching than the men’s.

Femininity and masculinity is evenly distributed between both gender’s routines, easily proving between whose performance is whose. It’s obvious that the women and men are separated due to the culture (or for another unknown reason) of the Peking Acrobats, and although they are separated throughout the whole show, the end of the show is what ties it together. The women and men come together and perform a series of different tricks, including a beautiful stacking ontop of one another, all while one man rides a bicycle so they can open their signature green paper fans. With a few mistakes (ex. Almost falling off of a stick to balance during a routine), the Peking Acrobats still gave a performance that surely everyone will remember, regardless of errors.

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