On the second day of our stay in Hebei we took a trip to the little-known (yet none the less astonishing) Acrobat World. That’s right folks, a whole world dedicated to acrobats! Well, to be exact it’s a training school for acrobats, but even these students were pulling of stunts nothing short of a 5 star circus. Eli was especially excited for this particular adventure and had been talking about it the whole trip. With all his monkey business, it was easy to see why.
Upon arriving, we first watched a show featuring a man smashing bricks using his bare hands, a man who hit a sword into his stomach yet came out alive, and a man who pushed tooth picks through his nose until they came out his eyes. It was disgusting. Impressive, but disgusting. We also saw this adorable goat that you could hire for a…goat cart ride? It was a sweet little reminder of our own goats at home and a not-so-sweet reminder of the training we will have to go through once we get back if we want them ready by show day this spring. *sighs* Anyways, back to the acrobat world!
Once the outdoor show was over, we made our way to a big top tent for the next portion of the show. Never having actually been to a circus or in a big top before, this part was especially a treat for us. We didn’t get many pictures of this part of the adventure because of the unfavorable lighting situation, so it did let us focus even more on the amazing acts before us. To start off the show, three aerial performers game out and astonished us with their tricks. The first girl’s most amazing feat was the part of her act when she balanced a chairs back legs on the trapeze and then proceeded to sit and swing in it. Now keep in mind that the angle that she is balancing this chair at is that angle that you are at when you rock your chair and then push it a liiitttle bit too far back and tip over. So you know it’s hard to do on the ground, so just imagine how hard it would be to do in the air!? The second group of aerial performers was a father and son duo. They proceeded to preform gripping a pole that was in the air while simultaneously whipping around in circles at neck breaking speeds. Next they proved their arm strength by going ninja warrior style and holding themselves straight out, parallel to the ground. I am not great at explaining things, but then again, this was just something you would have to see to believe. Next came three strength acts, one woman’s weight being so heavy that it took 4 men to lift it onto her feet where she proceeded to balance and rotate it. Like I said, amazing! There also were a few other miscellaneous acts like a young girl who did a balancing act and a woman who rode a unicycle while tossing bowls on her head. Again, pretty impressive! After this show was over we took a break to grab some lunch, and proceeded to get caught in a traffic jam rivaling those in the game “Rush Hour”. Eventually we did make it out and after scarfing down a quick lunch we made our way back to acrobat world (walking by the still jammed traffic on the way) to catch the second round of shows.
The second round of shows was definitely no less astounding than the first. Held in a large auditorium near the back of the park,we got to witness a few more new acts. These acts were more of a “show” style with lights, music, and flawless transitions. The same group of girls did over three acts, including strength, spinning plates, and dance acts. In between these acts the men’s groups preformed, showing off their tumbling and acrobatic skills. One of these guys also performed an amazing Chinese yoyo act. We then ventured to the building over to watch the famous “Ghost Hands” (pictured above). Why is he known as “Ghost Hands”? Well, I’m glad you asked! Ghost Hands takes an age old concentration game (balls under cups) and makes it his own. This guy is so famous because he never looses. He is so fast that he can literally change which cup the ball is under even if you saw which one he put it under in the first place. It was truly amazing! Mom also got to take part in the show, but that is a story that must be told in person. Last, but not least, we visited a truly impressive magic show and a less impressive clown act. 😉
Acrobat world and Hebei in general was a great experience. Make sure you stop by this “little” gem on your next visit to China!
Oh, and Eli also got to hold a baby monkey…
Also, I want to apologize for not posting as regularly these days! With finals, school, and our last few adventures before we leave it has been difficult to find time to write! I have a few more post to write, but our adventures here are almost to their end. Thank you for reading and see you all very very soon!