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Chinese acrobats descend onto city

Shanghai Circus to entertain area crowds Feb. 13

POSTED: February 6, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Chinese acrobats will tumble into Gainesville next Thursday.

The New Shanghai Circus is coming off of a sold-out, highly acclaimed Broadway tour and will be performing a one-night show at Brenau University’s Pearce Auditorium as part of The Arts Council Pearce series. The show will be at 8 p.m. Feb. 13 at 500 Washington St. in Gainesville. Tickets are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors and students and $80 for the entire Pearce Series.

“Their choreography is outstanding,” said Gladys Wyant, executive director of The Arts Council. “I was really impressed with it. They have a ballerina who was actually standing on point on a young man’s head.”

The show will feature roughly 20 people performing a variety of gymnastics, contortions and other spectacles. Many of the acts draw inspiration from Chinese traditions, some of which are more than 2,000 years old.

A wide variety of performances will dazzle the audience, including one in which a multitude of chairs are stacked into a tall, rickety structure and then quickly scaled by a lithe acrobat. Another act showcases 10 different performers climbing onto a single bike and riding it across the stage. Interspersed between the physical feats will be traditional Chinese dances and even some comedy.

“It is like some of the acts you would see at a cirque show,” Wyant said, “and you don’t have to drive to Atlanta to see it. It’s right here in Gainesville, five minutes from home.”

The New Shanghai Circus is the first installment of The Arts Council Pearce Series, which features three famed performances or performers every year. In addition to the circus, The Arts Council will also host Neil Berg’s 101 Years of Broadway in March and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in June.


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