China's acrobatic arts dazzle in Malaysia

A highly regarded China acrobatic arts troupe wrapped up its Malaysian performance tour on Saturday evening in rounds of applause and cheering after an eye-opening show for audience in Kuala Lumpur.

The performance in the Malaysian capital was the last leg of the week-long "Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" tour to the country. The troupe has performed earlier in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, two Malaysian cities in East Malaysia before coming to the Malaysia Peninsula.

With a population making up a quarter of all Malaysians, the Malaysian Chinese are no strangers to art performances from China, as Huang Huikang, China's Ambassador to Malaysia, praised that Malaysia was among the countries where the Chinese traditional cultures were best preserved outside China.

Still, it was eye-opening for most of the Malaysian audiences as the celebrated Guandong acrobatic arts troupe presented dazzling shows with award-winning acrobatic performances by featured dancers, ballet dancers, unicyclists and contortionists.

"It was fantastic, and show the richness of the Chinese traditional cultures," said Ng Teck Fong, a respected local entrepreneur and Chinese community leader.

"It's totally amazing," said K.H.Teo, a Malaysian Chinese in Kuching after watching the performances. He had been involved in organizing earlier "Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" tours and was quite skeptical when first leaning about an acrobatic troupe was coming this year.

"We wondered if it would be boring, but it turned out to be a fantastically orchestrated performance," he said.

Tressie Yap, a local architect based in Kota Kinabalu, said she was impressed by the Ballet elements in the acrobatic performance. "I hope there will be more such performances in the future," she said.

The performance on Saturday started with a group dancing featuring Chinese New Year celebrations, creating a festival atmosphere. Later, the crowd exploded when a ballet dancer impersonating a swam "dancing" with single leg on the shoulder of her partner.

Zhu Liu of China Overseas Exchange Association who led the troupe, said the enthusiasm and hospitality of the audience had exceeded their expectations. The troupe was at the same time impressed by the multi-culture in Malaysia, he added.

The performances also attracted Malaysians outside the Chinese community. "It was wonderful, I think the skills they have were just incredible," said Putri Norlisa Najib, a partner of a local law firm. "I don't think we have seen something like that, it's different from the normal acrobatic show."

Chinese Ambassador Huang Huikang expected the performances to further enhance exchanges between people of China and Malaysia.

"China and Malaysia have a long history of cultural exchanges," he said, "In recent years, healthy and rapid development was achieved in bilateral cooperation in all domains. The way that the performances were received shows the fondness of Malaysians on Chinese cultures."

The acrobatic troupe will travel to Indonesia and the Philippines to continue their "Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" tour after Malaysia.

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