Celebrated by many people the world over, Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year, is a time for new beginnings that features many festivities well over two weeks long. Brought in with a bang – there are multiple feasts, festivals, and fireworks during the 15 days it encompasses. With today marking the beginning of the New Year in the Chinese Lunar Calendar, let us look at the amazing contributions China has given to the world Circus community!
What is clear about circus arts in China is that it is an ancient art form. First records date back over 2000 years to the Qin Dynasty (225-207 BC) when the First Emperor Qi Shi Huang unified China. Much like in Europe, families became involved in the circus, and a family tradition developed with skills being passed form generation to generation.
One such skillset is cycling acrobatics, which were brought to China in the nineteenth century, but the Chinese made it a specialty of their own. The most astounding figure in a Chinese bicycle act is the “peacock” finale in which a large group of acrobats riding a single bicycle organize themselves in a tableau representing a peacock fanning its feathers. Here you can see CircusWest performers doing a version of this act!
Today in China there are over 200 circus and acrobatic troupes and most of them have toured the world. The Chinese acrobatic theater is made of various acrobatic specialties that have developed in China in their own specific way. With the popularity of shows and acts, it isn’t hard to imagine such a spectacular craft to be an influential part in the evolution of Circus within Canada – including at CircusWest! We’re balancing, jumping through hoops, and tumbling into a New Year filled with many exciting activities to come…
Don’t miss our 30th Anniversary year spectacular.