There are a couple of firsts associated with the coming Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts Presenter Series show.
It is the first Presenter Series show ever hosted on a Friday night.
It is the Presenter Series’ third show of the season, but it is also the final show of this shorter season.
This show also represents something that hasn’t changed. It continues the Presenter Series’ recent tradition of hosting a traveling, professional show on Valentine’s Day.
Finally, there is the thing that is sort of the same and simultaneously different.
The New Shanghai Circus played Valdosta with the Presenter Series in 2009, but the show stopping this coming Friday night in Valdosta will feature an entirely new cast and performances.
Freya Lui, Shanghai Circus’ tour manager, says in a phone interview that the circus changes performers each year. Two casts rotate between touring North America and performing in the famed show city of Branson, Mo.
All of the approximately two dozen performers come from China. They are young, with an average age of 18 years old. They have attended acrobatics schools for years.
“This year, this troupe, features all talented artists, who perform dangerous acts and give the audience a thrilling experience,” Lui says.
These thrilling acts include tumbling, somersaults, hoop diving, and chair stacking, which Lui describes as a balancing act atop a 15-foot-high stack of chairs. Hoop diving involves repeated dives and leaps through as many as seven hoops for distances of several feet.
There are also acts to inspire the soul as well as pump the adrenaline. Lui describes plate spinning as “a reminder of springtime. Girls in beautiful costumes tumbling while spinning plates.”
Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts presents “The New Shanghai Circus.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.
Where: Mathis City Auditorium, 2300 N. Ashley St.
To order tickets, contact the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, 527 N. Patterson St., (229) 247-2787, or visit www.turnercenter.org
Presenter Series Sponsors: First State Bank & Trust; Georgia Power Company; IPG Architects and Planners; Langdale Vallotton, LLP; Dr. James Sinnott & Dr. Edward Fricker families; Stifel, WALB, The Valdosta Daily Times.