With a long history Chinese acrobatics is one of the traditional
art form. In a broad sense, acrobatics is the collective name of
various kinds of feats. Chinese acrobatics can date back to the
Warring States Period (475BC-221BC). By the time of the Han Dynasty
(206 BC-220 AD), the acrobatic art or "Hundred Plays"
further developed both in contents and varieties. Brick paintings
and stone carvings of that time unearthed, depicted acrobats performing,
such as handstands, playing with swords, balls and jars, balancing,
pole climbing, rope-walking and etc.
In the Tang Dynasty, the most thriving period in the history of
Chinese ancient culture, the number of acrobats greatly increased
and their performing skills much improved. New acrobatics such as
Indian magic tricks were introduced to china from Silk Road. Acrobatics
was prevalent in the imperial court and among ordinary people as
well. Royal families always appreciated acrobatics at banquets.
In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), acrobatics moved from the imperial
court to ordinary people, and the performing form and program contents
experienced profound changes. The feudal ethics made the acrobatic
art that came from ordinary people and was close to real life receive
repulsion. Except some variety show items used in military trainings
and performances in ceremonies in imperial court, most acrobatics
programs were played by acrobats in vagabondism as a way of making
This change made some large-scale programs disappear, while various
small-scale programs performed by families or individuals came into
being. Juggling skills saw unprecedented development. Feats of waist,
leg or head emerged.
In the Ming (1638-1644) and Qing dynasties, acrobatics was still
a way of making a living for some people. Programs performed by
individuals, father and son, master and apprentice, saw much development,
and there formed many small-scale serial acrobatic performances,
retaining many traditional feats.
In the long course of development, the Chinese acrobatic art has
formed its own style. The ancient acrobatics rooted in the people’s
life and had a close relation with their life. Instruments of laboring
like wicker rings and articles of daily use such as tables, chairs,
jars, plates and bowls were used in their performances. Though having
a long history of development and winning great popularity among
the people, acrobatics in old China was never performed in theatres
because the feudal class looked down upon it.
Since 1949 the people's government has made great efforts to foster
and develop national arts and acrobatics gained a new life. Many
acrobatic troupes were set up.
The acrobatic art of New China has not only made great improvement
in its contents and skill but also set up a designing and directing
system, aiming at creating graceful stage images, harmonious musical
accompaniment, and good art effects of costumes, props and lighting
so as to bring about a full-fledged stage art. The present Chinese
acrobatics is full of good future and well reflects the spirit,
wisdom of the Chinese people.
In the past forty years and more, many Chinese acrobatic troupes
have toured around the world to promote friendship and cultural
Chinese acrobatics form their unique artistic characteristics: much
attention to the training of waist, leg and head feats.stability
in dangerous movements, quietness in actions.producing something
strange out of something plainattention to both heavy and light,
hard and soft skills. For instance, Juggling Objects with the Feet
involves objects of varying weight, including heavy objects like
wine jar, wood block, ladder, gong and drum, and even quick, and
light objects like parasols made of thin silk.combination of much
strength and spry and light somersault skills.good adaptability.
All these artistic characteristics help form the unique charm of
Chinese acrobatics. In recent years, Chinese acrobats won prizes
in many international competitions, and China was internationally
recognized as the No.1 Country of Acrobatics
Popular acrobatics programs: Lion Dance, Cycling Feats, Tight-wire
feats, Diabolo Skills, Magic Performance, Hoop Diving, Juggling,
Plate spinning, Spring- Board Stunts, Vocal Imitation, Balancing
on Chairs, Contortionist Performance, etc.
Show Contortionist Performance
Show Plate Spinning
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