Great Chinese State Circus – Swan Lake (Video)
The Chinese acrobatic team of China, known as the “Swan Lake” are famous for their skills. They have been performing since the 1950’s and they perform around the world. Their dance routines are very popular with audiences all over the world. You might think that these dancers would be able to do anything, but you’d be wrong! These performers have a special talent: they can fly!
Well, it’s not magic; it’s just because they practice so much!
The Swan Lake is a group of four professional acrobats from the People’s Republic of China. They are also known as the “Chinese Swinging Frogs”. Their dance routines consist mainly of acrobatics and juggling tricks. However, they aren’t limited to those two disciplines alone. In fact, their performances are often accompanied by live musicians and other visual effects such as firecrackers or fireworks.
They are members of the State Circus Association of China, which is a professional organization made up of circus artists from different countries. They perform at many major events throughout the year including parades, fairs and festivals. They have performed at several Olympic Games as well as other international competitions.
In addition to their acrobatic skills, the Swan Lake also possess some other talents such as singing and playing instruments. Some of them even play the piano!
The four members of the group are usually dressed in matching outfits. They wear outfits that are similar to what a Chinese soldier would wear. Each of the performers is dressed in a red jacket with yellow trim, as well as a red hat. They also wear black pants and black shoes. The men are usually taller than the women.
The male performers’ heads are shaven completely bald, while the females wear their hair in a bun.
Swan Lake has been entertaining audiences all over the world since the 1950’s. They have performed all around the globe in a number of different countries. They have been seen by millions of people and have appeared at many different events. Since they are one of the most popular acts in the country, they have attracted the attention of numerous celebrities as well. Their shows are not to be missed!
In addition, they perform several other routines. For example, the “Tower of Hanoi” is a very popular one. It does not require any balancing, but it does require a high level of skill and concentration. The performers stack up to seven poles on top of each other while balancing a ball on each pole. They must move the poles around in order to make a tower that is stable enough to raise the height of the poles.
It sounds simple, but it is actually very complicated.
The performance is actually divided into different parts. The first part of their show is similar to the “Tower of Hanoi”. They have a number of poles with different sized discs on top that they move around in order to make a stable structure. They must place the disc on each pole in such a way that it does not topple over.
The other popular act that they perform is called the “Giant Swing”. This act actually requires two of the performers to sit on the shoulders of two others. The two people on the shoulders must then swing the other two around a number of times before throwing them higher into the air. The people being thrown then go higher and higher into the air before being caught by another person standing behind the first two. This is just the beginning though, as they continue to swing each other faster and faster.
Finally, they throw one of the people really high into the air. Using a number of bamboo poles, the person is then caught and placed on top of a wooden column that is nearly twenty feet high! This column is known as the “Cat’s Cradle”, which takes its name from the patterns woven in the wood.
It must be noted that this is only one part of the act. After the person is placed on top of the Cat’s Cradle, the rest of the performers begin to swing from it as well. Before long, there are a number of people balancing on the structure. The crowds loves to see who will fall off next!
The group has been known by several different names over the years. They were originally called the Beijing Acrobats and then the Beijing State Acrobats. Eventually they changed their name to the more simple “Swan Lake”. This is because the lake has long been a favorite place of theirs to practice. Since the lake has no current and is particularly deep, it was the perfect place for them to train.
It must be understood that this is only one act out of many that they perform. They have many other acts in their repertoire that include everything from jugglers to contortionists. No matter what they do though, they always seem to return to the lake for training. They are all such skilled and talented performers that they have earned the name “The Flying Swans”.
At the time of this writing, the group is made up of six men and ten women, including their leader Han Fleck. Han has been their leader for more than twenty years and continues to dazzle audiences to this very day. He is especially known for his work on the Flying Swans act where he throws his performers high into the air. All of them together have performed for hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
They train every day in the art of juggling, tumbling, and aerial stunts. They are always practicing their acts and they make sure to practice them everywhere that they go. The reason for this is because they do not have a true home of their own. Since the beginning of their careers, the Flying Swans have been traveling around the world for as long as they can remember. While they do make a decent living, there are times that the money has been slow in coming.
During those times they are barely able to afford plane tickets from one place to another.
This nomadic lifestyle has afforded them the opportunity to tour some of the greatest cities around the world. Some of these cities include Paris, London, and New York City. While it is true that they do not make as much money during these times, they are still grateful for the experiences that they had while they were there. Han once said that he would not have traded any of those experiences, no matter how bad the financial situation was.
Han has trained many people over the years and some of them have even gone on to become famous performers in their own right. It gives him a great sense of pride to see his former students succeed in life. Han has often been described as a father figure to everyone in the group. This is probably because he is the only one that has been with them since the very beginning.
It is truly amazing how fast the time flies by when you are having fun. The Flying Swans have been able to accomplish so much in such a small amount of it. One can only wonder what they will achieve during the rest of their lives. Since they will all be starting their careers at the age of thirty, they plan to be around for a long time. They still have many countries to perform in and many people to entertain.
They still have a lot to give.
Some people wonder when Han is going to retire and just what he will do with himself once he is too old to perform any longer. While it is true that this thought has crossed his mind a few times before, he really can’t imagine what he would do if he didn’t have the Flying Swans to fall back on.
Besides, it isn’t just his livelihood; it’s his family as well.
Sources & references used in this article:
# SwanLake: An Old Ballet Made New for the Digital age Audience by MC Hawkes – 2014 – escholarship.org
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake by S Lake – 1895 – courses.lumenlearning.com
Swan Lake (suite) by S Lake – 1895 – classiccat.net
Moscow Premiere (World Premiere) by S Lake – 1895 – classiccat.net
Reworking the Ballet: Refiguring the Body and Swan Lake by V Midgelow – 2003 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
MEDIATIZATION AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE CIRCUS by B Hawkins – homepage.univie.ac.at
Toward a Transnational Understanding of Chinese Dance: Chinese Dance: In the Vast Land and Beyond By Shih-Ming Li Chang and Lynn E. Frederiksen 248 pp … by EVP Gerdes – 2017 – Taylor & Francis
Run Away to the Circus by A Vize – Screen Education, 2013 – search.proquest.com