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Friday, April 2, 2010
Acrobatic troupe flips in from China
By NAOKO KURAMOCHI
The China National Acrobatic Troupe is flipping and somersaulting across Japan, and they are bringing with them a young magician who has already wowed audiences in his home country.
The 49 members of The China National Acrobatics Troupe started a grueling cross-country tour on Feb. 25 that is set to take in 47 cities. The troupe has previously won various domestic and overseas contests in both acrobatics and magic. They will perform 17 daring feats, including the world premiere of a heart-stopping "high canes" act. Audiences can see acrobats execute this thrilling stunt on two slender metallic rods, as if they were standing atop trees that soar high above the ground.
Rising young magician Mao Zhiwei is performing in Japan for the first time. Keep an eye out for his "masks and illusion" trick in which the mask he wears changes color suddenly as he looks back and forth at the audience.
Some other stunts include hand-to-hand balancing, in which a female ballet dancer balances on the arms, shoulders, palms and even elbows of an acrobat; the impressive "pagoda of bowls," which sees an acrobat balance many plates on his or her head and feet; and an incredibly dexterous group performs a trick called "diabolo" with spinning-tops.
Established as the only national acrobatic troupe in China, this is only their second visit to Japan since 2007. This is also the 60th anniversary of the troupe's foundation.
The China National Acrobatic Troupe will perform April 2-4 in Hyogo, Apr. 6 in Wakayama, Apr. 7 in Kyoto, Apr. 10 in Miyazaki, Apr. 11 in Oita, Apr. 13 in Fukuoka, Apr. 14 in Nagasaki, Apr. 16 in Okayama, Apr. 18 in Kagoshima, Apr. 19 in Kumamoto, Apr. 21 in Tsu, Apr. 23 in Kobe, Apr. 24 in Kishiwada, Apr. 26-27 in Nagoya, Apr. 29 in Mito, May 6 in Asahikawa, May 8 in Sapporo, May 9 in Tomakomai, May 12 in Akita, May 13 in Sendai, May 14 in Koriyama, May 16 in Nagaoka, May 17 in Niigata, May 19-22 in Tokyo, May 24 in Yamagata, May 25 in Aomori, May 27 in Iwaki, May 28 in Maebashi. Prices and starting times vary depending on location. For more information, please visit www.min-on.or.jp