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Chinese acrobats fly into Gainesville
The Golden Dragon Acrobats of China perform their rolling people stunt.

Twenty-five Chinese artists, athletes and actors will tumble into town Monday when the Golden Dragon Acrobats take the stage at Pearce Auditorium.

The Arts Council's Pearce Series will be host of the award-winning acrobat troupe, whose 2005 Broadway performance garnered them widespread acclaim in the United States.

The company's founder, Danny Chang of Hebei province in China, has led the group through more than 65 countries, as well as through all 50 states. Chang built the acrobat show based on aspects from an ancient art form that gained popularity with the emperors of China more than 2,500 years ago.

Gladys Wyant, executive director of The Arts Council, said she's been trying for a few years to bring the Golden Dragon Acrobats to Pearce Auditorium.

"This will probably be the only time you'll be able to see them in Gainesville," she said.

Trained in dance, theater or acrobatics since childhood, each troupe member adds color to the exotic performance.

Some artists will juggle umbrellas, swaying boards, jars and tables. A ballet duo will perform, and other artists will ride bicycles or balance on a tower of chairs.

"There's a chair act, for example, that's done really high in the air," Wyant said. "There's a stack of chairs and then an acrobat at the very tip top."

Wyant said the show will entertain children as well as adults.

"There's so much going on on stage. There's bicycles, music and it's a colorful visual spectacle," she said.

Adults might be amused by the mere flexibility of the contortionists, for example, Wyant added.