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Yu Jinsheng - Crazy for Acrobatics

Time:2008-10-16   Source:

Yu Jinsheng was born in 1952 in Wuqiao, the hometown of Chinese acrobatics. He began to learn acrobatics at the age of four. By the age of six, he had mastered the patrimonial acrobatics such as Somersaults, Swallowing A Sword, etc. and began to make a living as a performer with his family.

In 1978, when China began reform and opening-up, Yu Jinsheng was just like a duck to water and organized a circus with his family members. At that time, there were altogether 25 people in the circus and most of them were his friends and relatives. The circus have a hard beginning. Yu Jinsheng made great efforts and borrowed about RMB4,000 (less than US$500). With the money, he bought a tent, some horses and musical instruments. He combined acrobatics, horsemanship, magic and so on in one performance and brought items performed in the canopy and on the squares and horsemanship as well onto the stage. These performances were well recieved and he soon became well known.

Yu Jinsheng not only performed at different parts of China but also brought Chinese acrobatics to foreign countries. In 1990, his circus was invited to stage a commercial performance in the Soviet Union and the performance turned out to be a big success. During the two months in the Soviet Union, the circus staged the performance more than one hundred times.

Several years later, he organized over 30 performers from Russia, Kazakstan, Kirghizia and so on to launch an eight-month road show in China. They staged 600 performances and made contributions to Sino-foreign exchange of acrobatic art.

At present, Yu Jinsheng’s circus boasts more than 100 actors and actresses, 20 horses, 20 bears, 6 elephants and some other animals such as lions, tigers, dogs and monkeys. His two daughters, sons-in-law and parents are all performers of the circus. Now, his three-month-old grand daughter is also taking trainings of basic acrobatic skills.