The show was spectacular, and well worth the trip—especially since the acrobatic troupe will be at Kingsbury Hall in April, making this review a preview as well. Scroll to the end for full details on the SLC show.
China first saw acrobatic performance 4,000 years ago during the Xia Dynasty. Now, it’s not only part of Chinese heritage, but perfect for cultural exchange with western nations—audiences worldwide are amazed by the balancing, seemingly-inhuman contortions and daredevil stunts performed by groups like Golden Dragon.
In 2005, Golden Dragon sold out on Broadway and have toured the world ever since—led by world-renowned impresario Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang.
Executive Director for the Cache Valley Center for the Arts, Wally Bloss, introduced the acrobats, and the crowd was stunned by the show.
More than just flips, hand springs and balancing many glasses of water on all limbs while folding in half backwards, the show’s aesthetic complimented the beautiful theater. Each act was done in front of beautiful Chinese backdrop, and costumes were detailed, especially during the Thousand Hand Dance.
The outfits also added drama to the show, like when hooded monks entered the stage to foreboding music, just before a showcase of acrobatic prowess.
Performers were young, in great shape and full of energy. All acts seemed to follow the same format: Amaze the crowd, up the stakes, amaze the crowd again. Each act was also accompanied by dances to keep the show in motion—never a dull moment. We only saw two mistakes during the show, which never took place during a dangerous performance and were immediately corrected.
Unlike some acrobatic shows with variations of the same stunts performed throughout, Golden Dragon makes each act unique and feature both visual appeal and pushing the human body to its limitations.
During the Power Act, a male performer held another upside down directly above his head. The Swaying Balance Board Act featured a female performer hula hooping while spinning rings on her arms and climbing two ladders (one with each foot) while balancing on a plank on top of a rolling tube.
The one act that stunned the crowd the most was the Tower of Chairs.
A male performer balanced upside down on one chair set on top of a tall base. He added another chair on top of that to balance on, then another and another. Eventually, he was near the theater’s ceiling and asked the crowd if he should add one more. Audience members held their breath as the last chair was stacked and balanced upon—all we could say was, “Wow!”
The show left the audience amazed and definitely earned its standing ovation. The Golden Dragon Acrobats put on one of the best shows we have seen in a long time. And while no deep, hidden meanings were intended, it left us wondering "If this is possible, what else could be?"
The only problems we ran into were an outdated program, with information referring to the 2008 show and an usher who asked our photographer to stop taking photos—despite her adherence to the theater’s no flash rule and the fact she was press. We talked it out, and she was allowed to continue.
Check out our pics from the Tower of Chairs performance:
Golden Dragon Acrobats return to Utah on April 13–14 at Kingsbury Hall. Tickets go on sale Nov. 18 and range from $19.50 to $35.50. Call 801-581-7100 or go online to kingsburyhall.org