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Golden Dragon Acrobats

When it comes down to it, life is just one great balancing act after another. The Chinese learned this a long time ago, and quickly turned the skill into an art form.

Chinese acrobatics has its origins somewhere before the Qin Dynasty (221 to 207 B.C.), and the Golden Dragon Acrobats can trace their performance roots back to that humble street fare. As a company, it was founded in China proper and filtered through a long stint in Taiwan before eventually becoming the high-octane, fully produced theatrical experience that it is today. Danny Chang, with his wife, choreographer Angela Chang, now runs the show, and here in the States has successfully turned the group into a world-class act that constantly tours the globe.

To say that it’s simply an elevated balancing act really doesn’t do it justice. The Golden Dragon Acrobats are skilled at balancing all sorts of objects—spinning plates, one another—while they themselves balance upon all sorts of other precarious objects—like balls, stilts, chairs upon chairs upon chairs. The costuming itself used to be quite traditional, too, but now combines the time-honored with touches of the Cirque du Soleil—colorful, skintight and often abstract.

In fact, the whole performance blends the innovative with the historical when it comes to music, stunts and stage design. What you end up with is a feeling of witnessing age-old performing wisdom passed down through generations and spiced up for the fast-paced world of today. Now, that is one hell of a balancing act. (Jacob Stringer)

Golden Dragon Acrobats @ Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, University of Utah, 801-581-7100, April 13-14, 7:30 p.m., $19.50-$35.50.

Date: Apr 13, 2012
Time: 7:30 pm
Phone: 801-581-7100
Address: 1395 E. Presidents Circle, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 84112
Where: Kingsbury Hall