2/21: Peking Acrobats at PlayhouseSquare



If you blended athletic gymnastics, Cirque de Soleil’s graceful physical wizardry and traditional heart-stopping circus stunts, you might come up with something like the Peking Acrobats. Or maybe not. The ensemble adds traditional folk artistry and live music to come up with something that’s as grounded in Chinese culture as it is in making people gasp. And they do plenty of that as they balance an eye-popping number of people in formations that often involve props (like balls, chairs, plates and hoops) or wiggle into positions that should theoretically be impossible. As with American circuses, children start training when they’re just beyond toddlerhood, often becoming part of a family legacy. Unlike their American contemporaries, these performers are highly respected artists, presenting an art form whose roots go back more than 2,000 years. The Peking Acrobats perform at 3 p.m. at PlayhouseSquare's Allen Theatre (1501 Euclid Ave., 216.241.6000). Tickets: $10-$35. — Anastasia Pantsios

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