Peking Acrobats

Peking Acrobats
Cal Performances

Zellerbach Auditorium
Saturday, January 27, 2018

Remarkable People: Great Show

It is a wonder to behold the Peking Acrobats.

Although their numbers and names are not listed, the remarkable men and women who comprise this troupe are all to be applauded and regarded with amazement. The sixteen acts which comprised their performance each demand extraordinary balance, coordination, ensemble and yes, a great sense of humor. Skilled as they are, the errors and mishaps are also delightful.

It is impossible to describe all the acts, but a few demand special attention. The Lion Dance is close to Bay Area memory, since Chinese New Year is celebrated with the famous Market Street parade. Here three lions (arrayed in fabulous costumes each enclosing two men), climb poles, do flips, somersault over one another and generally “play” with the audience.

The “Five-Girl Contortion” is only one of the several unbelievable acrobatic displays that the women, always in splendid colorful costumes, enact. Wushu Kungfu is a demonstration of combat with sword and spear and the Flag Act /Human Pyramid sets new challenges to building balance. A young man (noted for his haircut of cute bangs) was able to stack eight or nine chairs high on a small table and then balance, right side up, up side down and sideways. The audience was amazed and delighted throughout especially when the master of ceremonies brought attention to each set of skills.

The evening finale included the sounding of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” My early memories of singing the ode included the words, “Rise all nations, rise together, work for universal peace…” The words may not be accurate but the feeling of joy and skill brought by the Peking Acrobats strengthened the message.

Joanna G. Harris