Are there Chinese acrobats?
Interestingly, the answer to this question is the reverse of what you might think—it’s not that there are acrobatics in classical Chinese dance, it’s that you can see techniques from classical Chinese dance in acrobatics! Not only that, Olympic gymnasts, especially in floor routines, have also borrowed moves from classical Chinese dance.
Flipping and tumbling techniques have been part of classical Chinese dance for thousands of years. In the 1970s, Chinese gymnasts took these high-level flips from classical Chinese dance and performed them at international competitions, introducing them to the world.
Over time, different forms adopted these techniques. Not only gymnastics and acrobatics, but also cheerleading and even modern ballet are among those that borrowed from classical Chinese dance.
So when you see these amazing flips on stage, remember—they’re not acrobatics but classical Chinese dance.
February 22, 2017