Diabolo Dance Theatre enchants audience with gymnastics, skills

Diabolo Dance Theatre enchants audience with gymnastics, skills

Diabolo Dance Theatre enchants audience with gymnastics, skills

Amye Buckley

Blending tradition and modern dance qualities, the Diabolo Dance Theatre performed Oct. 3 in Taylor Auditorium. Missouri Southern is only one of 13 stops for the Taiwanese troupe during their month-long tour of the United States and Canada.

The diabolo, a traditional toy from China, resembles a large yo-yo. Its spindle shape rolls along the string and the performers swing, toss, catch and spin them through the air, sometimes bouncing them from performer to performer. Some dancers juggled two or three diabolos, switching positions with other performers.

Themed as an underwater experience, the act was billed as “Heart of the Ocean” complete with fish princesses and younger actors as bubble genies.

Part ballet, part acting, and part skill, the dancers told their story with their faces while their hands kept the diabolos spinning. The art of diabolo requires gymnastics, dance skills and hand-eye coordination.

Younger members of the troupe showed their skills at tossing the diabolo while jumping rope, then returned to the stage spinning diabolos on thread so small they appeared to fly through the air.

Part of the show incorporated digital animations. Projected on a screen, the animations appeared to interact with the performers on stage as they ran back and forth.

Some of the performers are as young as 9 years old and the star performer, Yang, Hsin-Yi is 24 years old. Yang has been practicing the art of diabolo for 14 years. Some of the younger performers have three years of experience.

The Wednesday evening performance had a healthy turnout, with a considerable amount of local interest.

“We hope they will come to the theatre to follow his own imaginations, I hope,” said Liu Le-Chun, director of arts for Diabolo Dance Theatre.

The Diabolo Dance Theatre is sponsored by the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission of Taiwan and was a part of the events scheduled for the China semester.

The next China semester event will be the Kung Fu Theatre, 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, in Webster Hall auditorium.