The Peking Acrobats will perform traditional Chinese acrobatics tonight at the Granada Theater as part of their 25th Anniversary North American Tour. The troupe is visiting Santa Barbara for the third consecutive year and will perform routines based on 2,000 years of Asian folk art. This year’s performance will also feature the Woman’s Peace Orchestra of China, a group who plays traditional Chinese instruments in 21st century styles.
According to Granada Theater Marketing Representative Associate Kate Kurlas, the Peking Acrobats utilize optical illusions in their performances and have updated their routines from previous years.
“The Peking Acrobats create the illusion that the laws of physics and body mechanics are mere figments of the imagination,” Kurlas said. “For their Gala 2011 25th Silver Anniversary North American Tour, the Peking Acrobats’ performances will be more awesome and spectacular than ever before, featuring all new acts and new twists on old favorites, incredible costumes and special effects.”
Angela Jones, a writer for the Dance Insider, said the acrobats’ visually captivating work explores the limits of human physicality and showmanship.
“All the members of this troupe are amazing athletes with grace and charisma in addition to their razor-sharp precision … everything entertainment should be: uplifting, awe-inspiring and an exploration of the full extent of human potential,” Jones said. “When a show can fill you with the wonder of a 10-year-old, you know you have had a good time … that’s success!”
Additionally, Kurlas said the addition of the Woman’s Peace Orchestra of China should bolster an already entertaining experience.
“This incredible ladies’ musical ensemble will thrill audiences as they play traditional Chinese instruments with 21st century style and sophistication, adding yet another dimension,” Kurlas said.
Second-year Santa Barbara City College biology major Edward Lee said international theater provides audiences with thrilling encounters with diverse cultures.
“Have you seen that thing were they stack the chairs up on top of each other and then balance on top of them? … I am talking like 20 chairs here,” Lee said. “Americans just do not seem to get it — going to see a play is a lot of fun when there is the chance that one of the actors might get really hurt.”
Tickets are $25-55 and can be purchased at the Granada Theater box office or by calling (805) 899-2222. The show will begin at 7:30 pm.