By Ian MacLaren
Journal Sports Editor
Rare is the opportunity to witness seemingly impossible feats of agility, balance and strength while scintillating music plays in the background.
Thanks to a group of talented Chinese acrobats however, a capacity crowd enjoyed such an experience at Cortez Middle School on May 3.
Known as the Golden Dragon Acrobats, the group of performers was nothing short of spectacular, thrilling audience members with phenomenal physical feats.
Set to traditional Chinese music, the well-choreographed routine served showcased color, flexibility, athleticism and concentration.
Sure to live on in the minds of those who were there, the Golden Dragon’s performance was beautiful in every way.
Below are some of the highlights of the truly remarkable event.
With audience members sitting poised on the edge of their seats, the Golden Dragons’ performance began with several colorfully clad performers entering the area.
Clad in outfits of grey, red and gold, the performers deftly twirled large ribbons in time to a powerful drumbeat that cascaded down from arena speakers.
At first slow and deliberate, the drumbeat slowly increased in volume and pace as the acrobats performed increasingly flips and turns while keeping their ribbons spinning at all times.
Capping off the opening act with a series of flips that resulted in a colorful blur of red grey and gold, the performers exited the stage while a young audience member in the back of the crowd exclaimed, “that’s impossible.”
Flexibility defies limitations
As impossible as the opening act was, further unimaginable feats were in store for the Golden Dragons’ second act.
Set on a circular platform that was no more than 5 feet in diameter, the act featured four girls clad in pink and blue contorting their bodies into several limit-defying poses.
A testament to the human body’s ability to bend but not break, the act concluded with a purple-clad performer balancing several stacked shot glasses on one foot.
Beautiful and thrilling at the same time, the dexterous demonstration left audience members awestruck and clamoring for more.
Athleticism nothing short of amazing
While audience members looked on in anticipation, the Golden Dragons’ next act opened with athletic displays seldom seen in Western culture.
Relying on what their gymnastics backgrounds, six purple clad men leapt and flipped through a four-foot ring to the beat of intense music.
After bringing more rings onto the gymnasium floor, acrobats eventually built a stack ten-rings high, which, at its highest point, was at least nine feet tall.
Demonstrating athleticism and strength born of hours spent practicing in a gym, one man sprinted towards the rings, jumped off the floor and flipped through the rings before landing on a mat below.
Shocked by the amazing display, audience members cheered while performers concluded the act with a lighthearted dance that brought smiles to the large crowd.
Concentration truly amazing
On display throughout every act of the performance was a level of concentration seldom seen in Western culture.
By their minds of all distractions and completely immersing themselves in the moment, performers were able to reach new physical heights.
Providing an example for all those in attendance, performers left audience members pondering their own physical and mental limitations.
More than anything, the Golden Dragons’ mental accuity throughout their performance provided an eye opening experience.
A wonderful event in every way
Looking back on the Golden Dragons’ performance, it likely that those in attendance will all remember something slightly different.
Some will undoubtedly remember the physical strength, while others will likely remember the music. Some may remember flips and twists, while others will likely recollect deft balance.
Whatever attendees remember however, they will all have shared the type of unique experience that only comes along a few times in a lifetime.
While the experience can never be recreated, similarly opportunities promise to return in the near future when Southwest Concerts hosts more exciting events in the future.