The Golden Dragon Acrobats

The acrobats were uneven, but wonderful.  We were late, what with one thing and another and a dog in the road (and I sincerely hope he was picked up and is now with his family) and the usher directions to go “to the right and down the stairs”.  No.  It was to the right, around the corner, more around the corner, further around the corner, and further still until we had to be 3/4 of the way back to where we started, ask some guy with his arms full who wouldn’t stop but answered cordially enough, and then back track a quarter mile or so to the escalators, down THOSE “stairs”, and then, finally through a door to follow another usher with a flashlight.  I’ve never been that late to a performance – but we were far from alone, and we weren’t the latest.  I suppose it has to do with the ticket price being only $15 if you didn’t win them; perhaps one is less compelled to milk every last moment of the experience if the experience wasn’t that expensive.  Still: rude.  My apologies to the Dragon corps.

The show was arranged in sets of feats grouped by props and music.  From the video I had seen, which I posted earlier, I was looking forward to the fellow with the hats.  Unfortunately, that was one of the uneven parts – there were a lot of dropped hats, though the performers always recovered themselves.  The other astounding-feats-with-common-objects routine (which was also marred by some misses) was the parasol juggling – and whatever mistakes were made, it was still a lovely joy.

At the top of the post was my favorite, probably a lot of people’s favorites.  Those two start out on the stage, he standing, she lying at his feet.  He reaches down and takes her hands, and whips her up onto his shoulders as if there wasn’t a bone in her body.  I know I’ve seen that moment above, with her en pointe on his shoulder, somewhere, and it doesn’t get old – it’s just exquisite.  It gets better, too.

At one point two figures come out cloaked most mysteriously.  They doff their cloaks, and turn out to be two shockingly flexible and powerful men.  The music bore out this performance beautifully, as these two did things no human should be able to do.  Immensely impressive.

My second favorite was the fellow who was carried out supine by six or eight others, shoulder-height.  They toss him to his feet onto a high platform, and … then they start handing him chairs.  Which he stacks.  And then climbs up.  Two… three… five … Well, that isn’t symmetrical – of course there are six.  He was up so high that when he stood on his hands at the top of that stack his feet were above the stage lights.  Then he just started showing off.  He had a sense of humor, that one; he egged on the audience, and posed, and then … I don’t know if something went wrong there.  There were four spotters on the stage – initially two, then two more as more chairs mounted up, and as the fellow at the top of the tower fiddled with one of the chairs – I swear I thought he was going to balance it on one leg and get up on that – one of the spotters left abruptly.  But a moment later he and another were holding out a blanket for the chairs to be dropped into one by one.

I could complain about the idiots coming in even later than we did, or the two very small children who couldn’t sit still in front of us, or about the mistakes made by the performers – but that would be stupid.  What’s important is that I sat there for over an hour (which would have been about an hour and a half) with my mouth alternately hanging open, grinning like a fool, and saying “No way!”  (Or “No, don’t -!”)  So it wasn’t the most polished production in the universe.  So what?  It was filled with marvels – and I had a great time.

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