Throughout the 3,000-year history of Chinese acrobatics, its practitioners have spared no efforts in the quest for new techniques, new subject material, and new props to use in their art. Gyrating Hoops is oneof the results of this ongoing search. In the 1970’s, the Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe discovered the gy-roscopic frame,a device used for training pilots and astronauts. The gyroscopic frame consists of three large interconnected iron hoops rotating freely in all directions, within which the trainee is positioned.
The experienced artists immediately realized the potential of this device as an acrobatic prop, and started to experiment with incorporating it into their performances. Their first attempt,a springboard act which utilized the gyroscopic frame in a portrayal of astronaut training, failed to turn an unexciting training exercise into a thrilling acrobatic act. Undeterred, they continued their efforts, and in the late 1990’s finally succeeded in creating a ground-breaking new act based on the gyroscopic frame, Melody of Youth with Gyrating Hoops.
The success of Gyrating Hoops can be attributed primarily to a series of modifications made to the original gyroscopic frame. Newly developed versions of the device employ hoops of varying sizes, which may be interlocked, stacked, or arranged in the shape of a ladder. Within these frames, perforn ers execute such difficult movements as hands-free rolling, pair stunts in double hoops, group stunts in one large hoop, cloverleaf pattern rolls, and roling dives into moving hoops. Incorporating music, choreography, and lighting, Gyrating Hoops is a colorful and exciting new acrobatic act that is imbued with all the strength and vitality of youth.