The FlyingTaiwanese

Art August 20, 2015 01:00


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Acrobats from the National Taiwan College of performing arts will make the leap into Bangkok

THE ACROBATICS TROUPE from the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts will be making its way to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in the coming weeks as part of its 2015 Southeast Asia tour.

Taiwan’s only official acrobatics group represents the finest in folk acrobatics and will open its shows here with a distinctive traditional Chinese performance, the face-changing act, bian lian. Other routines involve the flying Chinese yo-yo, martial arts rings, teasing clowns and stimulating challenges.

The history of folk acrobatics in Taiwan can be traced to the Japanese colonial period from 1895 to 1945. According to the website of Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, performances of Chinese and Japanese acrobatic troupes were recorded during the era when commercial theatre first developed in Taiwan.

After World War II, acrobatic shows from China became a popular form of entertainment for soldiers in Taiwan. Folk performance is largely incorporated in Taiwanese acrobatic shows and has its origins from Chinese immigrants who migrated to the island since the Qing dynasty.

During the early days, folk performance was part of religious rituals but later evolved into a more sophisticated form of performing arts.

The rapid economic boom in the 1960s saw increased bookings for acrobatic shows at hotels and corporate functions. Feeding into the acrobatics boom, the Taiwanese government began sending performing troupes overseas in 1973 to promote international good will.

The acrobatics show will be staged at Aksra Theatre on August 31 at 8pm. The troupe will be holding an exhibition and exchange programme followed by another performance at Rangsit University the next day.

The Nation is the official media partner of this show.