CULTURE

Acrobatics and gospel music at Rendi’s Big Top Theater

The spectacular Canadian group Cirque Eloize may have ended its magical performances of the show «Nomade,» but the Big Top Theater, situated at the Allou Fun Park in Rendi, continues to host further shows by various artists, with more treats in store for Athenian audiences. Having already performed on Monday and Tuesday, the Sweet Heaven Kings, the brass band of the United House of Prayer for All People, will interpret more festive hymns and melodies at the theater tonight and tomorrow. The band comprises 20 musicians playing instruments such as the drums, trombone and sousaphone. The band has appeared on some of the greatest stages in the US, including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, while in July it also performed at the Herod Atticus Theater in Athens within the context of the «Sacred Music» series of concerts organized by the Cultural Olympiad. The gospel brass band tradition was introduced to the church by its founder, Bishop Charles M. «Sweet Daddy» Grace in 1919 in West Wareham, Massachusetts. As the church’s influence spread during the 1920s, Grace started using brass instruments as a focal point in his services. The Sweet Heaven Kings will be followed by the breathtaking acrobatics of the China Acrobatic Troupe, which will perform on January 17 and 18. For two nights only, 20 Chinese acrobats will captivate audiences with a fascinating mix of acrobatics and juggling tricks. The China Acrobatic Troupe, founded in 1950, was the first state acrobatic troupe to be set up in China. Over the past 50 years, it has evolved significantly and today plays a central role in the development of the Chinese tradition of acrobatics. The troupe’s shows incorporate martial arts, music, dance and theater and make use of striking costumes and lights. Since its foundation, the troupe has been awarded 18 gold medals at numerous international acrobatics competitions and has also received 14 medals in Chinese acrobatics competitions, considered the most difficult competitions in the field. The Chinese government honored the troupe by making it the main act in the great ceremonies held to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Big Top Theater, Allou Fun Park, Kifissou & Petrou Ralli, Rendi, tel 210.490.6300.