CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 8, 2012 — The Golden Dragon Acrobats will combine award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques in a breath-taking and spellbinding performance at 7:30 p.m. March 23 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus.
The Golden Dragon Acrobats represent the best of a time honored tradition that began more than 25 centuries ago. The troupe hails from Cangzhou, Hebei province, in the People’s Republic of China, and has toured continually in the United States since 1978. Its 25 members are athletes, actors and artists who have studied and trained for their craft since early childhood. The group has performed in all 50 states and in over 65 countries across the world.
“There are lots of Chinese acrobatic troupes touring out there, but you can’t get much more authentic than this,” said Bob Cerchio, assistant director at the River Campus, who booked the show. “Some companies have more production, more glitz. But when it comes right down to it, nobody tops the Golden Dragon Acrobats for authenticity.”
The ancient art of Chinese acrobatics is an old, long-running tradition that began in China over two thousand years ago. Over time it developed into one of the most popular art forms among the Chinese people. While many historical records provide evidence for the development of Chinese acrobatics as far back as the Xia Dynasty (4000 years ago), it is most commonly held that the art form did not gain wide-spread popularity until nearly 2,500 years ago when it began to capture the attention of the country’s powerful emperors.
Since these early times, acrobatics evolved into many forms including dance, opera, martial arts and sports. The impact of Chinese acrobatics goes far beyond the boundaries of performance as it has served an important role in the cultural exchange between China and Western nations including the U.S. The citizens of China continue to present their acrobatic art for the world today, as it portrays the hard-working nature of their people and sets forth an example of the rich traditions of Chinese culture.
Under the direction of the group’s founder Danny Chang and the choreography of Angela Chang, the Golden Dragons have come to be recognized throughout the United States and abroad as a modern premiere Chinese acrobatic touring company. Chang is one of the world’s leading promoters of Chinese acrobatics. He began his training at the age of 8 with his family’s acrobatic school in Taipei, and began performing with its touring wing, the Golden Dragon Acrobats, at age 10. He is the recipient of many awards, including the prestigious Medal for International Faith and Goodwill by the Republic of China’s Coordination Council for North American Affairs.
The Golden Dragon Acrobat troupe had its Broadway debut at the New Victory Theater in 2005, and was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards for its performance.
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampusEvents.com.