Friday, April 18, 2014

China's Best

I had an opportunity to visit the school for the China National Acrobatic Troupe this week. It's a place that trains and schools more than 1,000 youngsters, starting from the age of 8, in acrobatics, martial arts, classical dance, theater, and just about every form of performance art. The vast majority are Chinese kids, but we also saw some young people from Russia and one guy from Brazil.

It was hard to say whether the youngsters loved being there -- some were smiling, some had deep circles under their eyes -- but it was a fascinating place, with a level of ability that was stunning. And of course, when they asked if anyone wanted to try something, I raised my hand. No, I didn't flip through the air or juggle nine balls (although we saw one kid who could do that), but I did attempt something that it turns out I couldn't manage. In English, it's called the diabolo. In Chinese, it's kongzhu, or hollow bamboo, named for the sticks you hold. Anyway, I could barely get the thing rolling on the string. Do you think the girls are laughing at me?

Afterwards, we walked around the school, seeing dancers and martial arts performers.

These girls kept a smile on their faces.
Ballet dancers, very serious.

1 comment:

  1. wow! love the videos deb! The synchronized diabolo dance was amazing.