Golden Dragon Acrobats
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Golden Dragon Acrobats

Plano, Texas, United States

Plano, Texas, United States
Band Comedy World


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Life in Balance, Featuring Plates, Hoops and Ladders"

November 21, 2005

Men climb high up tall poles and jump between them to the sound of drums. A woman in a shining gray python-colored body stocking balances a lamp as she twists upside down on a pedestal, her body bending like cooling taffy so that it is hard to see where her limbs begin and end. Paper umbrellas twirl effortlessly, held by a pair of upturned, kneading feet; plates spin three at a time atop long, slender sticks; and a man juggles balls at the top of a three-man pyramid, effortlessly dropping down to the ground afterwards to screams from the audience.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats have arrived. From the central Chinese city of Xian, the troupe consists of jugglers, contortionists and prize-winning acrobats, some still in their teens. A good deal of imagination has gone into devising colorful ways to use their skills and take advantage of their apparent total lack of fear as they form human totems and balance on perilous-looking stacks of ladders that lean like the Tower of Pisa when it is time for the performers to return to earth.

In one act, men and women circled and crossed the stage grasping the innards of fast-moving neon-bright hoops that spun them every which way, sometimes with a squishy look that drew giggles from the children in the audience at the New Victory Theater. "How did they do that?" a small boy asked his mother, so intrigued by the mechanics of it all that he nearly didn't make it out for an intermission brownie at the theater's concession stand.

Those who did may have regretted it, staring up at the stomach-churning Tower of Chairs act, in which a blithe young man hopped higher and higher as attendants brought him more and more chairs on which to balance, upside down, so high up that his feet could have touched the top of the proscenium arch.

"One more?" he asked the audience, holding up a single finger. Yells of encouragement welled up from observers of all ages, faces upturned, until he balanced on one hand atop an eighth chair, legs opening into a 180-degree split and turning slowly as he balanced on the tilted back of the top chair.

That exchange with the audience was charming, as were the performers' matter-of-fact trots off stage after seemingly defying death. Watch out, "Nutcracker."

- New York Times

"Chinese Acrobats Offer Timeless Thrills"

By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer
November 21, 2005

NEW YORK - The Golden Dragon Acrobats, the Chinese troupe that just opened a worthy holiday run at the New Victory Theater, prove again that the well-made gag is older than vaudeville and that gravity was defied long before anyone knew what to call it.

Founded and directed by Danny Chang and choreographed by Angela Chang, the two-hour show draws on skills that date to ancient times and shines them up for the modern age. The music ranges from hip-hop to tribal drums, the costumes from the warrior's sash to the dancer's leotards, but the 17 segments tell a common story: The impossible can be achieved, and once achieved surpassed, then surpassed again.

Led by the fearless Chao Li, the show's 21 performers bend like rubber, spin umbrellas with their feet, scale poles like frightened cats, lean at 45 degree angles, build human pyramids on moving bicycles. They are neither unduly boastful nor falsely modest, just young men and women of exceptional gifts and discipline — training often starts at age 4 — entitled to share their feats with the public.

Routines advance prop by prop. In "Contortion," Qiu You Chen stands on her hands, arches her back and with one foot holds up a tiered, mini-chandelier made of tiny water glasses. She then balances a second chandelier on her other foot, then another with her nose and still another with her mouth.

In "Ball Juggling," acrobats rest on elevated chairs, using their feet to juggle one, two, three, four soccer balls, then flip the balls from person to person. A tall pole is then brought out, with a hierarchy of small, attached trays leading to a basketball net. Performer Chen Ray kicks a ball up to one tray, then to another and another and another and cleanly through the net.

The occasional mistake — a dropped hat, two failed attempts at leaping through a high hoop — only humanizes the show. The Dragon Acrobats remind you of what can't, or shouldn't, be done without spoiling the dream of wanting to try: to be swung like a jump rope or tossed like a pizza; to grab a curtain and fly as if the air itself were made of silk; to stand, like Chao Li, atop eight stacked chairs and smile as if you had touched the sun and escaped without a burn.

- Associated Press


November 26, 2005

Kids, don't try this at home. That applies to pretty much everything you'll see performed by the Golden Dragon Acrobats, a Chinese troupe of acrobats, jugglers, contortionists and all-around daredevils making their New York debut at the New Victory Theater.

Over a two-hour-long show, the 21-member company from Xian, China, deliver beautifully choreographed routines showcasing their amazing skills and physicality, accompanied by a musical score of traditional Chinese music filtered through a New Age sensibility.

From the opening segment in which the performers climb poles upside down (!) to the closer in which Chao Li balances himself on a precipitous tower of chairs that reaches practically up to the ceiling, the acrobats display an athleticism that leaves the audience gasping.

Juggling everything from umbrellas to soccer balls - and with props as varied as ladders and giant spinning wheels - the performers show just why they're world-famous.

Whether bending their bodies into seemingly impossible positions or balancing each other in feats of incredible strength, they rival anything you'll see at the much higher-priced circus acts in town.

- New York Post

"Golden Dragon Acrobats, a company of champion acrobats, contortionists, and jugglers"

November 20, 2005

Acrobatic training has been part of Chinese culture for two thousand years, and the Golden Dragon Acrobats epitomize this tradition. The show is an exploration of the physical world at every level. Not only people, but also objects are pushed to their limits: ladders, balls, cloth, hats, plates, umbrellas, fabric, and chairs are all skillfully exploited. And there is no limit to the dexterousness of every part of these acrobats' bodies. They are as deft with their feet as most jugglers are with their hands, using them to toss umbrellas, juggle balls, and balance full trays of glasses. In fact, juggling, balancing, or spinning something while doing contortion, flips, or leaps is a staple of this production.

Alternating men's and women's routines point up the exuberant power in the men's acts and the lithe lightness of the women. Qui Yu Chen's shimmering contortion while balancing a tray of glasses on her foot is sheer beauty. A group of women do a full acrobatic routine while spinning plates so delicately they look like gently waving flowers. One man literally carries the show on his shoulders at he stands on a straight ladder, balancing it, while two men do a headstand routine on top of him. The boys' hat juggling act has powerful glee, and the Greco-Roman wrestling match erotic stateliness.

Unfortunately, the show's climax act is a little less amazing. One acrobat steadily stacks chairs one on top of the other until they almost reach the ceiling. It is daring, especially as the chairs waver, but it doesn't match the awesomeness of the previous acts. Also, this is the only time the performer speaks to the audience, egging them on to applaud. Although this interaction is part of the act, and it is fun to support him, it is the only act that required this encouragement.

All of the performers are consummate. Present, masterful, joyous, they communicate these ancient tricks as something brand new. And the powerful music, simple themes, and explosive choreography are about something that transcends culture—absolute joy in exploring the full potential of the human body.


"Acrobats push simple props to extremity"

November 24, 2005

The Cat in the Hat, with his cake on a rake, has nothing on the Golden Dragon Acrobats. The 17 stupendous acts in this globe-trotting Chinese troupe's holiday spectacle may each start modestly - say, with a young woman (Hai Li Huang) swaying on a teeter-board while a stick topped by a small globe perches on the bridge of her nose. But soon two ladders have been placed on the slip-sliding plank and she is climbing both - one ladder per leg. Then a second woman catapults herself to where the globe used to be, looming over Huang's face in a cockeyed, one-armed handstand.

Whether the 24 young precision-athletes - professionals since the age of 8 or 9 - are poised upside-down on a 30-foot stack of chairs, or twirling parasols between their toes, any cat could have found the props, but not any creature would have concocted these feats. It takes children in the throes of inventing a game - or Chinese circus people - to push simple propositions (balance on a board, throw a hat in the air) to such baroque limits. Kids have every reason to love the Golden Dragons.

Or nearly. Americans of any age know that a person doesn't usually shoot hoops with her feet, but they're less likely to recognize that the four white discs spinning without a wobble on a bouquet of sticks are china plates. They could break! When a fierce tumbler knocks over a hoop as he flies through, the excitement of his next move rises sharply. Many in the audience, particularly among the under-5 set, may have only just realized that there's no guarantee the props will cooperate.

The acrobats are almost too perfect. They might have taken a few moments before each act to demonstrate the props' ordinariness and thus accentuate their own extreme skill. Children know all about the monomaniacal instinct - dressing only in shades of pink, collecting every type of bug - but American kids have to be taught to associate that frame of mind with the circus, because our circuses emphasize raw danger over smooth virtuosity. (Not that this show wants for death-defying acts.) To bridge the cultural divide, the Golden Dragons might have broken a few plates before setting the rest spinning.

The real drama-dampener here is the intergalactic music blasting from the speakers. The pounding drums and atmospheric flutes emit a cloud of existential gloom that flattens each number's escalating thrill. Because the relentless soundtrack doesn't seem even remotely human, it competes with, and obscures, the essential circus spectacle of people turning themselves into mechanisms.

If Qiu Yu Chen had balanced eight candelabras from the soles of her feet, the palms of her hands, her forehead and mouth in silence, we would likely have accompanied her with a chorus of gasps.
- Newsday


The Golden Dragon Acrobats have toured continually in the U.S. since 1978. Most recently, their live performance was recorded in its entirety in 2006. Highlights of that recording are available in the video section of this EPK. The full performance is available on DVD.



The Golden Dragon Acrobats represent the best of a time honored tradition that began more than twenty-five centuries ago. The Golden Dragons are recognized throughout the United States and abroad as the premiere Chinese acrobatic touring company of today.

The reputation of the company is solidly rooted in a commitment to the highest of production values and an attention to artistic details that is unparalleled in the art form. World renowned impresario Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang combine award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty.