“Please, ladies and gentleman, what you are about to see is extremely dangerous. Do not attempt to do this in your own home,” the announcer’s voice blared through the John W. Hart Auditorium as the eldest of the Chinese acrobats teetered on a tower of six chairs.
Much of the crowd gasped, then held their breath. A woman in the fourth row said, “I just want him to get down.” Muscles quivering, tower swaying visibly, the man did the splits in the air, concluding his trick.
The audience responded with momentous applause.
In their performance on Friday evening, hundreds cheered on the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Their team consists of over 20 performers from China. From start to finish, each new trick was met with applause.
The acrobats were not only gymnasts, but bouncy ball enthusiasts, contortionists, yo-yo experts, dancers and jugglers. Whether they were building human pyramids, flipping through hoops, jumping from heights, throwing hats, balls or each other, these acrobats moved in unison. It was an ancient Chinese art and everybody knew their part.
In the opening scene, performers rolled around in large hoops, like man-sized hamster wheels. A later scene featured a mystical dancer who sprouted 12 arms and five heads. In the second act, a group of synchronized warriors, dressed like the army in Mulan.
Below is a video Mount Baker Theatre produced of the acrobats.
One man compared their performance to “that one Jackie Chan movie.”
During intermission, an energetic 7-year-old named Lincoln could be seen hanging upside down on a handrail as if to mimic the performers. “It was way beyond than I expected,” said Lincoln’s father, Bryce, “I was blown away by it.”
When asked if there are any tricks he would try at home, an elderly man named Carl said with a smile he might try the balancing act on his kitchen counter when he gets home.