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JAPAN

Chinese acrobatic antics will captivate and thrill

by Eriko Arita

Staff Writer

Humans performing seemingly superhuman feats with style and panache: that’s the story of the Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe in a nutshell.

The group is currently touring Japan with a show called “Sky Mirage,” in which acrobats delight audiences with amazing stunts such as drum juggling, pole climbing and unicycle dancing.

Drum juggling, for the benefit of the uninitiated, involves female acrobats lying on their back while juggling drums with their legs. The unicycle-dancing portion of the show’s 14-part program is titled “Kicking Bowls.” To the sound of fast-paced music, acrobats ride unicycles pedaling with just one foot, while using the other foot to kick bowls onto their heads.

The troupe is based in Shenyang, northeast China’s biggest city. Since its establishment in 1951, the group has won many prizes at international circus competitions. “Kicking Bowls,” for example, won a gold prize at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de L’avenir, an annual international circus festival in Paris.

The Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe’s current tour of Japan is being held as one of the events marking the 35th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China.

The group is touring Japan until May 29. Tickets are priced between ¥4,900 and ¥6,900. For more information, visit the website of event promoter Min-On at www.min-on.or.jp. (Japanese only), or call Min-On at 03-5362-3440.