Chinese acrobats stun crowd

Rebecca Dunphy, Staff writer

Audiences were on the edge of their seats March 23 as they watched the high-flying, gravity defying Golden Dragon Acrobats.
Hailing from China, Lien Chi Chang founded the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats in 1967 with his family, including his son Danny Chang who inherited the company in 1985.
In years since, he continues to serve as producer and artistic director, allowing the troupe to rise to national and international recognition as the premiere Chinese acrobatic touring company of today.
Having traveled all across the world and to all 50 states, the company boasts an estimated 200 performances annually at 100-200 different venues.
Of these performances, the company dedicates nearly one third of its tour to participating in community and youth outreach programs.
This is just one way the company sets itself apart from other acrobatic acts.
Its other unique attributes being their emphasis on artistic merit and cultural exchange.
Danny Chang and choreographer/costume designer Angela Chang showcase a wide variety of acts in a single performance, combining acrobatics with ancient and contemporary dance and music styles, only enhanced by mind-blowing artistic and athletic feats.
“I was in awe with the capabilities that I didn’t know were possible,” sophomore Dance major Davia Ford said.
“It was thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat,” Ford said.
In the Mercyhurst performance, the show was composed of two acts featuring wheels, group contortion, hoops, hang and drum juggling, a pole act, hat tricks, a tower of chairs and bicycle work.
“Everything was so exciting and different from anything I’ve ever seen,” Ford said.
“As a performer I appreciated not only the capabilities of the performers but the presence that they brought to the audience.”
The sold out theater roared with applause and rose to their feet for standing ovations throughout the night, with the greatest reaction coming from crowd favorite, “Tower of Chairs.”
In a solo performance, one acrobat stacked a number of chairs up to the proscenium arch, performing handstands and contortion once on top.
Jaws were dropping as the same act was done with the chairs angled and off-balance.
“That was an intense moment that really kept me on the edge of my seat, but it was quite an amazing experience,” junior Math and Biochemistry dpuble major Nick Rugelis said.
“I had a very good experience and I would certainly see a show like that again,” Rugelis said.
Unfortunately for students, this performance was one night only.
The Mercyhurst Institute of Arts and Culture season is quickly coming to a close, and only two MIAC Live events remain for students still looking to get their artistic fix.
These are the Pigpen Theatre Co. performance on April 4 and Patti Lupone: Don’t Monkey with Broadway on May 2.
Tickets to these events are free to Mercyhurst students with IDs.