Members of an acrobatic troupe from central China's Hunan Province perform during the 3rd Kiev International Youth Festival of Circus Art in Kiev, Ukraine, on June 1, 2018. The acrobatic troupe from China's Hunan Acrobatics Art Theater (HAAT) beat more than 30 participants from 12 countries at the 3rd Kiev International Youth Festival of Circus Art "Golden Kashtan," held at the National Circus of Ukraine (NCU). (Xinhua/Sergey)
KIEV, June 1 (Xinhua) -- An acrobatic troupe from central China's Hunan Province won the first prize at an international competition of circus art here Friday.
The acrobatic troupe from Hunan Acrobatics Art Theater (HAAT) beat more than 30 participants from 12 countries at the 3rd Kiev International Youth Festival of Circus Art "Golden Kashtan," held at the National Circus of Ukraine (NCU).
Liu Yang, a member of the troupe, said her team's victory was the result of hard work and long preparations.
"To prepare our performances, we trained for a year and a half, nonstop. Our coaches accompanied us day and night, so we achieved today's success," Liu said.
"The Chinese school of acrobatics is the oldest and the strongest one. We must learn from them," said Lyudmila Shevchenko, director of the NCU. "We also had quite strong performances, but China has everything special -- style, music," she added.
During the three-day event, circus professionals and amateur performers from China, Ukraine, Switzerland, Israel, Belarus and European Union countries competed for 12 medals in four age groups.
The contestants staged a total of 52 performances, demonstrating their skills in juggling and equilibristics. The Chinese troupe, in particular, amazed spectators by presenting an impressive contortion performance and a breathtaking handstand performance.
Noting that Ukraine also has a profound tradition in acrobatics, Zhao Shuangwu, director general of the HAAT, said one of the goals that the Chinese troupe wanted to achieve by participating in the festival is to bring acrobatic performance with Chinese cultural characteristics to the acrobatics fans in Ukraine.
Zhao awarded the "Great Wall Award" to an acrobatic troupe from Kiev named "Duo Fireworks" for their outstanding performance.
Irina Zherdeva, coach of the Kiev troupe and an admirer of Chinese acrobatics, said she had always dreamed of receiving recognition from Chinese circus professionals. "I consider this to be the most prestigious award," she added.
"We love a lot of Chinese performances -- the Chinese ballet on the shoulders, for example ... I always show it to my trainees and tell them that they must follow it," Zherdeva said.
Founded in 1959, the HAAT troupe have travelled to dozens of countries, introducing Chinese traditional culture and art to foreign audiences and promoting friendship with people around the world.