Feature: Chinese acrobats dazzle Cubans

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-29 18:48:10|Editor: Li Xia
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by Noemi Galban, Raimundo Urrechaga

HAVANA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- It was a daring act of stacking chairs at a terrifying height. Some in attendance could not help but cover their eyes or look the other way. Before long, three young acrobats began to scale the wobbling tower. In the end, the visiting Chinese troupe dazzled the audience.

"I really liked the show. The Chinese artists have a lot of technique. It was very beautiful," said Elisa Alvarez, who attended the performance with her granddaughter.

The Zunyi Acrobatic Troupe traveled from China's southwest Guizhou Province to take part in the 17th edition of CirCuba, the island's leading circus arts event and one of the most prestigious in Latin America. Performers from 19 countries took part in the event, including from Costa Rica and Switzerland.

Troupe leader Luo Jun, noted for his impressive balance and strength, has been perfecting his craft for over a decade.

"I have done this show for more than 10 years, since I was 14 years old. The most difficult part is the last step, supporting the last chair with one hand without turning; therein lies its complexity," Luo told Xinhua.

According to Luo, this circus act won a place in the Guinness Book World Records in 2007.

"I set the record by balancing on 11 chairs for about 40 seconds using only one arm," he said.

Zhang Pengjian, president of the Zunyi Performing Art Group Council and CirCuba jury member, expressed gratitude at being part of the celebration.

"It's the first time we've come to Cuba. I think the circus here has developed very quickly in recent years and I have seen exciting acrobatics from both Cubans and artists from other countries," Zhang told Xinhua.

The troupe has competed in more than 80 countries and won more than 120 medals in various categories, according to Zhang. Founded in 1950, the Zunyi Acrobatic Troupe created one of China's most popular acrobatic acts, "Loving the Mountain and the Water."

CirCuba 2018, which marks the 50th anniversary of Cuba's national circus and founded by the late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, ends this Friday.

Awards will be presented for best performances at the closing gala.