Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats and Magicians | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats and Magicians

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Old-timers reminisce fondly about the vaudeville circuit years when you could go to a show and see Anna Pavlova dance The Dying Swan followed by a dancing-elephant act. Nowadays we have to turn to imports for this wild mixture of theatrics and sensationalism. The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats, from Taiwan, provide a delectable variety with their circus and its twist of daredevil acts balanced by traditional folk dances. While a contortionist does graceful exercises on a platform, two women on each side of her dance classical East Indian steps. In another routine she's surrounded by traditional Chinese fan dancers. At breakneck speed male acrobats leap horizontally over and under each other by the dozen. Their molecule-like motion inspired Pilobolus to choreograph a work based on these leaps, The Particle Zoo, Eventually they leap through a ring of flaming knives--blindfolded. There's also clown and magic acts but no animals unless you count the acrobats dressed as giant shaggy lions. One of the most popular solo acts is the man on the unicycle who tosses oranges and apples at the audience and catches them on the knife in his mouth when the audience throws them back. Now that's a novelty act. Sunday at 1 at Centre East, 7701 N. Lincoln in Skokie; tickets are $7.50-$9.50. Call 708-673-6300.

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