Flipping, flying and dancing will soon take over the stage at Riverside Military Academy as the Acrobats of Hebei China make their way through Gainesville.
The performance is scheduled for 3 p.m. Jan. 27 — just one day — at the Carlos and Sandra Cervantes Theatre for the Arts before the group heads to Florida. Tickets are $28.84 for students, $36.05 for adults and $32.96 for those over 65 years old.
“It’s an opportunity not to be missed because it will be a long time before we do this type of show again,” said Gladys Wyant, executive director at The Arts Council. “We usually don’t try to repeat the same thing the next year, especially with this type of performance.”
And that’s something the Arts Council holds to. It’s been more than 10 years since it brought an acrobatic performance to a stage in Gainesville. With the group having shows in nearby Atlanta and Athens, though, it seemed like the perfect time to make it happen.
“It’s great for the entire family,” Wyant said. “It’s a real family-friendly show, and sometimes it’s more difficult to find something that appeals to all ages.”
According to their website, the Acrobats of Hebei China are “masters of agility and grace.” They combine “Chinese traditions, incredible acrobatics, stunning costumes, Chinese props and a beautiful music soundtrack” throughout their performance. Wyant said the show has taken them everywhere from South Africa to South Korea, from the United Kingdom and now to the United States.
Although she hasn’t seen the act live, she said there is plenty to be excited about.
“It’s an artistic show,” Wyant said. “There are very colorful costumes, there’s choreography, there’s martial arts, hand balance, chair stacking. It’s just something unique and different and to have something to reach everybody.”
She said one of her main goals at The Arts Council is to bring things to Gainesville that people would normally have to drive to a bigger city to see. Sometimes that means there are niche performances that come, but other times there are performances — like the Acrobats of Hebei China — that appeal to everybody.
“Sometimes, we love to present classical music and that’s not going to reach everybody,” Wyant said. “But in everything that we do, we’re trying to serve the community, the broader community, and engage people in various ways of the arts and this is certainly an art form.”
The show will include hoop diving, a contortionist who balances a glass while performing, a Chinese lion performance, plate spinning, hat juggling, the Chinese sport of diablo and Chinese pole climbing among other performances.
Wyant said to expect the show to be similar to what you see on the TV competition show “America’s Got Talent.”
“These young people from 19 to 25 have trained since childhood,” Wyant said. “So they are good at their art form.”