March 12, 2015, BY Kathryn Kopchik

The Peking Acrobats will bring their family-friendly contemporary circus skills to the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University on Saturday, April 4, at 2 p.m.

The event is sponsored, in part, by the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau and the Susquehanna River Arts initiative.

Patrons are encouraged to come early and stay after the performance to take advantage of two free receptions. From 1 to 2 p.m., there will be a free local artists' exhibit in the Weis Center lobby kicking off the Susquehanna River Arts Fourth Annual Studio Tour on April 11 and 12. Following the performance there will be a free reception in the lobby featuring kid-friendly refreshments and magician Brent Kessler from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The Peking Acrobats have been the featured performers on numerous television shows and celebrity-studded TV specials including appearances on The Wayne Brady Show as well as NBC's Ring in the New Year Special, Nickelodeon's Unfabulous and Ellen's Really Big Show.

The acrobats set the world record for the Human Chair Stack on Fox's Guinness Book Premiere where they astounded television audiences as they balanced six people precariously atop six chairs, 21 feet up in the air, without safety lines.

Company members were featured in Steven Soderbergh's hit film Ocean's 11. Qin Shaobo, an alumnus of The Peking Acrobats, appeared in that film's two blockbuster sequels, Ocean's 12 and Ocean's 13.

Seattle Times says, "Nearly everything The Peking Acrobats did was amazing — and stunning, and breathtaking and wow!" The New York Post says, "The Peking Acrobats [are] pushing the envelope of human possibility ... Pure artistry!"

The Peking Acrobats' ability to perform the astounding is rooted in centuries of Chinese history, with records of acrobatic acts found as early as the Ch'in Dynasty. Acrobatics flourished during the Han Dynasty, with Emperor Wu Di presenting the first grand acrobatic performance at the Imperial Court to a number of important foreign dignitaries. The foreign guests were so impressed that they agreed to enter into military and trade alliances with the Han Emperor.

In China today, professional acrobatic troupes have many outlets for displaying their talents. Some appear on Chinese television shows; some travel throughout China bringing their own unique costumes, stage props and acrobatic styles to factories, villages, army units, remote areas, and frontier outposts; still others have formed joint ventures with theme parks.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62+, $15 for youth 18 and under, $15 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), $15 for non-Bucknell students and $10 for Bucknell students (limit 2).

Tickets can be purchased online at www.bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or by calling the Campus Box Office at 570-577-1000.

For more information about this performance, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by email at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

The final event in the Weis Center's 2014-15 Series is a world music performance by Malian guitarist and singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara on Wednesday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Campus Theatre in downtown Lewisburg. Inspired by Wassoulou tradition, jazz and blues, Diawara has created her own unique contemporary folk sound with a distinctly African spin to the concept of the female singer-songwriter. General admission tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 62+ and $5 for youth 18 and under.

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter or www.facebook.com/WeisCenter

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