a group of 16 acrobats perform a stunt on stage where seven of them are doing hand-stands with the other acrobats as bases

The Peking Acrobats

April 21, 2024 | Yardley Hall

Past Event

For more than three decades, The Peking Acrobats have redefined audience perceptions of Chinese acrobatics. They push the limits of human ability and defy gravity with amazing displays of contortion, flexibility and control.

This performance has been rescheduled from February 18 to April 21.

The Peking Acrobats perform daring maneuvers atop a precarious pagoda of chairs and display their technical prowess at such arts as trick-cycling, precision tumbling, juggling, somersaulting and gymnastics. They are often accompanied by live musicians who skillfully play traditional Chinese instruments. The time-honored Chinese music coalesces with high-tech special effects and awe-inspiring acrobatic feats, creating an exuberant entertainment event with the festive pageantry of a Chinese carnival.

Since their founding in 1986, The Peking Acrobats have been featured on numerous television shows and celebrity-studded TV specials, including Nickelodeon’s “Unfabulous,” “Ellen’s Really Big Show” (hosted by Ellen DeGeneres), “The Wayne Brady Show,” “That’s Incredible,” ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” and NBC’s “Ring in the New Year Holiday Special.” They have also appeared on HDNet TV’s “In Focus” series and have appeared regularly in 3D on NBC/Comcast’s new 3D Channel.

The Peking Acrobats set the world record for the Human Chair Stack on FOX Network’s “Guinness Book Primetime” television show in 1999 by balancing six people precariously atop six chairs 21 feet in the air without safety lines, astounding audiences with their bravery and dexterity. They have also made their way onto the silver screen – company members were featured in Steven Soderbergh’s hit film “Ocean’s Eleven,” playing alongside Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Peking Acrobats alumnus Shaobo Qin also appeared in that film’s two sequels, “Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.

The Peking Acrobats achieved another milestone in the fall of 2003, when they made their orchestral debut at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. They performed as part of the Hollywood Bowl’s Fireworks Season Finale, where the company blended their unique brand of acrobatics with the majestic sound of the 100-piece Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by John Mauceri. Since their Hollywood Bowl debut, they have performed with many of the most prestigious symphony orchestras in North America, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, featuring members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; the San Diego Symphony Orchestra; the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra; the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. The Peking Acrobats return often to the Hollywood Bowl, where they perform with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra as special guest artists. 

Over their career, The Peking Acrobats have achieved international acclaim, dazzling audiences around the world. In February of 2005, they premiered in Italy on a five-week, 12-city tour. In city after city, the Peking Acrobats took the stage before sold-out crowds, and the reviews were filled with accolades attesting to their superb performances. Since their Italian debut, they have performed in seven European countries on six European tours between 2005 and today. 

The Peking Acrobats are part of a time-honored Chinese tradition, rooted in centuries of Chinese history and folk art. Tradition demands that each generation of acrobats add its own improvements and embellishments. Because of this, high honor is conferred upon those skilled enough to become acrobats. The Peking Acrobats seek to uphold this rich and ancient folk-art tradition, bringing it to new technical heights while integrating 21st century technology.