Chinese Acrobatics – a daily act in Wuqiao, China. (Photo Courtesy: Wuqiao Acrobatic Troupe)
Celebrate the holiday season with a performance of “Fenmo: The Beauty of the Acrobatics” to be presented Dec. 16-17, 7:30 p.m. at Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville.
Fenmo Series 1 of 4 is jointly presented by the two top-rated performing groups from China, Jiangsu Performing Arts Group and China Wuqiao Acrobatic Troupe, the birthplace of the Chinese acrobatics. The show will include a lion dance, bench stacking, juggling, air acrobatics, flower pot stacking, changing faces, rolling lanterns, straw hat juggling, hoop jumping and martial arts.
Chinese acrobatics has a long history and has become a precious cultural legacy of the Chinese nation. There are numerous villages known for the cultivation of acrobatics in China. Villages such as Liaocheng of Shandong Province, Yancheng of Jiangsu Province, Puyang of Henan Province, Tianmen of Hubei Province, Guangde of Anhui Province, Wuqing of Tianjin, and Wuqiao, Suning and Bazhou of Hebei Province.
Wuqiao is considered the birthplace of Chinese acrobatics and most renowned for its history and influence at home and abroad. An increasing number of visitors come each year for the superb display of both modern and traditional acrobatic skill.
The annual Wuqiao International Acrobatic Arts Festival recreates the historical moments with lamps lighting up the whole county for three days of festivals. In ancient times the local feudal officials did not practice curfew during festival and people set off firecrackers and perform acrobatics.
The tomb murals of the Eastern Wei Dynasty (534-550) in the Southern and Northern Dynasties Period (386-581) unearthed from Xiaomachang Village of Wuqiao County in 1958 depict the performances of handstands, plate spinning, deft horsemanship and so on. However, it was after the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) that acrobatics of Wuqiao gained its reputation. Before that, acrobatics in Henan Province was much influential.
After the Yuan Dynasty was established, the capital was moved from Kaifeng of Henan to Beijing, and the acrobatics in Wuqiao of Hebei, which neighbors Beijing, began to prosper and was increasingly influential. The county has now become the home of Chinese acrobatics.
Located at the southeast tip of Hebei Province, Wuqiao County has a population of 270,000. Acrobatic art has a wide mass foundation here, and almost each village has acrobats. People in Wuqiao today, young or old, often possess astonishing acrobatic ability.
Fenmo is a unique Chinese Acrobatic production that is made possibly by Asian Media Access, in collaboration with East Culture Center, Pan Asian Arts Alliance and Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center. For more information or arrange school tickets, please contact Asian Media Access at 612-376-7715 or visit www.panasianartsalliance.org.
Ticket price ranges from VIP: $50 (with Premiere Seating, and Event Booklet); Adult: $30; Children 12 and under, Senior 65 and above: $ 23. Tickets can be purchased through Asian Media Access (612-376-7715), or in person at the BPAC Box Office, via Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787 or Ticketmaster.com.