As part of a tradition that dates back more than 25 centuries, the Golden Dragon Acrobats celebrate their 30th year of continuous touring in the United States with the 2008 production Cirque D'Or. The Golden Dragons are the only Chinese acrobatic company touring year-round in the country and have performed in all 50 states and more than 65 countries.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats will present two shows at The Renaissance Center in Dickson on Thursday, June 26.

A 70-minute matinee performance will be at 11 a.m. and is ideal for school groups, camps, summer programs and daycare groups. Tickets for the matinee are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 55 and over and $8 for children under 13. A full two-hour performance will take place at 7 p.m. For this performance, tickets are $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 55 and over and $10 for children under 13.

World-renowned impresario Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang have combined award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to present a show of breath-taking skill and spell-binding beauty featuring a troupe of more than 20 performers hailing from Hebei, China.

The troupe has performed at prestigious venues like the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City and presented a successful two-year run on Broadway.

With the company's home nation of China hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing with the theme "One World One Dream," the Golden Dragon Acrobats are traveling coast to coast to promote the ancient Chinese tradition of acrobatics.

Over its long and rich history, acrobatics has developed as one of the most popular art forms among the Chinese people.

While many historical records provide evidence for the development of Chinese acrobatics as far back as the Xia Dynasty (4,000 years ago), it is most commonly held that the art form did not become wildly popular until approximately 2,500 years ago when it began to capture the attention of the country's powerful emperors.

Since its early times, acrobatics have evolved into many forms of performance, including dance, opera, martial arts and sports. The Golden Dragon Acrobats incorporate many of the longest-standing acrobatic acts along with exhibitions of strength, agility, balance, grace and exact timing to create a non-stop, family friendly show.

With performers trained in the rigorous art of acrobatics since early youth, the troupe has garnered international acclaim, including awards such as the Entertainer of the Year from the National Association of Campus Activities and Performer of the Year from Campus Activities Today.

For more information on the troupe, visit www.goldendragonacrobats.com. For information on the two performances at The Renaissance Center on June 26, call (615) 740-5600 or visit www.rcenter.org. To purchase tickets, call (615) 740-5601.

The Renaissance Center is a fine arts education and performing arts center at 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, just 35 miles west of Nashville on Interstate 40 at exit 172.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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