The crowd in the Benson Auditorium received quite a treat last week thanks to the spectacular routine performed by the Golden Dragon Acrobats on Thursday night. Tickets were only $3 and it was the best $3 I have ever spent. The show gave me a much needed break from the traditional forms of entertainment that are available in Searcy. Normally, when I want to be entertained, I have the options of going to the movies or doing some other kind of Harding amusement. The Golden Dragon show was so different than anything else I have ever seen in my life. It wasn’t like a magic show, more like a live art exhibit. There was still a sense of wonder but the acrobats’ performance wasn’t trickery or sleight of hand. All of their amazing displays were purely a show of their strength, flexibility and precision. At a magic show, the thoughts that would be running through my mind would be, “How is this possible?” or “What is their secret?” but at the Golden Dragon show my thoughts were more on the lines of, “How are these people so strong?” and “How do they make their bodies do that?”
The show was about an hour and a half long and in that short time, I went through a whirlwind of emotions. When one of the acrobats was flipping vases and tables with only her feet, I was utterly amazed. I was in complete shock when a group of them were jumping 10 to 15 feet in the air and going through hoops. My stomach was churning when one of the acrobats was 30 feet up over the Benson’s stage standing only on a stack of chairs. I was as giddy as a child when a group of the guys started to juggle probably about 18 hats while on unicycles. These were just some of the acts, with each new display of extraordinary mental focus and control my appreciation of this art form grew.
According to the Golden Dragon Acrobats’ website, the art of Chinese acrobatics is 2,500 years old, and this group represents the best there is. I have to agree I haven’t seen many other Chinese acrobatic shows, but it is going to be hard to beat this show in my mind. The show was simply beautiful. It was mesmerizing and it gave me exposure to a culture I know barely know anything about. I have not heard of a single person that is not satisfied or