Acrobats put their best foot forward

Members of the Chinese National Acrobatic Troupe wowed the audience at the 12th International Circus Festival in Budapest on Wednesday with a special umbrella-juggling act.

They brought in a new dimension to this traditional performance by using their bodies and umbrellas to make a "lotus" bloom.

Such dazzling displays are what pull crowds to the well-known festival that celebrates circus artists from all over the world.

This year's edition, which runs until Sunday, has an impressive line-up of clowns, jugglers, horseback riders, illusionists and aerial acrobats from countries such as Russia, Mongolia, Cuba and Hungary.

The event is also celebrating the 250th anniversary of the foun-ding of the modern circus by equestrian Philip Astley in London, back in 1768.

The festival's jury president Eugene Chaplin said that its popularity shows that audiences are still captivated by the emotion of a live performance.

Mr Florian Richter, father of one of the performers and a former acrobat himself, agreed.

"The audience loves it that it is not a film they are watching, not some kind of edited recording or a digitalised film," he told Reuters. "Here, acrobats risk their lives, and this is a unique experience."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2018, with the headline 'Acrobats put their best foot forward'. Print Edition | Subscribe