Direct from China The Amazing Peking Acrobats Return to Astound Audiences of All Ages

Jesus Figueroa

Combine the color, spectacle and death-defying feats found in a circus along with the skill and discipline of Olympic gymnastics…toss in a modicum of martial arts, and the result is a jaw-dropping experience courtesy of one of the world’s entertainment wonders The Peking Acrobats 
Now in the 31st year of touring, these skilled artists have amazed family audiences worldwide, from youngsters to grandparents.

Returning to Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace April 2 at 7:30 p.m., the Peking Acrobats contort leap and sail through the air defying gratify and the constraints of a normal human body. 

As a New York Post critic reported, this Chinese troupe of gifted contortionists, tumblers, gymnasts, martial arts experts, cyclists and jugglers “seem to push the envelope of human possibility.  If daring and dexterity turn you on, this is a show that will probably twist you around in your seat…it’s amazing and exciting.  Pure artistry.” 

Complemented by live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments, the Peking Acrobats offer up their 2,000-year-old tradition of performing…whether it is the balancing of six people atop six chairs 21 feet in the air sans safety lines…treacherous wire-walking…kung-fu “surprises”… human pyramids…astonishing gymnastic feats or contortions that allow acrobats to seemingly turn their bodies to jelly to squeeze through unbelievably small spaces.  

These acrobats must be seen to be believed.

There is no “magic” or “illusion” here, but rather human bodies performing super-human and surreal feats defying the laws of body physics and mechanics.  

Many of the troupe’s magnificent acts of today, despite their sophistication, were performed in ancient times, a record of which dates back as early as 211 B.C.  

The history of Chinese acrobatics is rich in tradition, influenced by myth and religion.  

Their grace and precision is the triumph of years of dedicated training and discipline.  

In what has become an evolving folk art, tradition demands that each generation of acrobats add their own improvements and embellishment.  

Generation after generation of families carry on this highly-acclaimed and popular tradition, with children beginning formal training at age five or six, then spending four hours daily going through their paces. 

By age 14, their art has become part of their daily lives and is virtually second nature…a rigorous schedule they will follow the rest of their lives.  

Because of the unusual and difficult nature of the feats involved, high honor is conferred upon those skilled enough to make the cut; today an acrobat in China is considered to be an artist… the equivalent of an opera star. 

While in many countries acrobatics has become a lost art, it flourishes in China, broadcast regularly on Chinese television.  

Traveling shows throughout China perform at factories, army posts, remote villages and frontier outposts, plus as joint ventures with theme parks, as an economically-thriving China fosters the growth of their own family and entertainment industry.

A performance by the Peking Acrobats brings the opportunity to view the epitome of a rich and ancient folk art tradition along with the pageantry and spectacle of a Chinese circus…but, most importantly, a mastery that inspires sheer awe.

Peking Acrobats tickets for the Sat., April 2 at 7:30 pm Playhouse Square performance are priced at $39 and $10 Smart Seats, and may be purchased at Playhouse Square’s Ticket Office; online at or by phone at 216-241-6000.

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