There was a lot of hype around Sonoma last Thursday. With so much going on around SSU’s campus, the Rohnert Park community and in students’ individual lives, the Associated Students Productions in collaboration with On Campus Presents (OCP) presented Sonoma County with the amazing and talented Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats.
As one walked into the Green Music Center the sense of elegance and quality struck even before arriving at one’s seat. The expectation that this show will most likely be leaving you in awe is installed throughout the audience as it got closer to 7 p.m. The lights finally dimmed and a packed house became instantly anxious waiting for the show and acrobats to start.
“The planning process of working on getting the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats to Sonoma was a nerve racking experience,” said Giana Borrachia of Associated Students Productions, who introduced the Chinese Acrobats. “I had never planned anything of this caliber before but at the same time it was exciting and had a great experience. In my perspective the show went great.”
The acrobats immediately came on stage and started their first death-defying act, “Lion Dance” and went on to using spinning plates on stilts. Everyone in the audience were practically mouth agape, praying no one would get hurt. At this point the show had just started and it seemed that everyone was already having a great time being awed by the acrobats but all simultaneously hoped that no one would get hurt.
As the show went on, very vibrant colorful outfits covered young girls and young men were covered in shiny costumes of oranges, greens and yellows on the stage. The hall was quickly filled with upbeat music that changed rapidly and went with every movements the acrobats made. Everyone was on the edge of their seats as little girls, boys, older men and women bent their bodies in ways no one knew a body can twist. There was a lot of laughter as the audience were amazed with some of the acts the acrobats put on.
In one particular act, “Diving Daring Doom,” acrobats were flying across the stage landing in forms that would seem to quench one’s stomach thinking someone was going to break a bone or fall off the stage. The show was perfectly spectacular for both families and students.
The acrobats definitely pushed the limits in every act and made it understood why these particular acrobats were handpicked from the cast of the world famous Peking Acrobats. For example, in another act called “In the High Chair,” a male acrobat stacked chairs about 20 feet high and was sitting on the highest one. In “Bicycle Pagoda,” a male acrobat rode a bike around the stage but only while seven other acrobats were stacked on his shoulders.
Some acts were more children friendly and helped take the edge off the audience. The act “Keep it under your Hat” was a colorful display of acrobats juggling three of their hats while spinning them in the air and catching them on their heads.
“This was a great show to bring to SSU, the atmosphere was great with jaw dropping performances,” said Derek Bradley, an SSU alumni. “The event was very cultural, what they were wearing and the acts they brought were a part of a different world we don’t get to see in Rohnert Park.”
Not a lot of performers are brought to the Green Music Center that attract a majority of SSU students and not the older community, and that is why it was no surprise when the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats received a long well-deserved standing ovation.