Saturday, 23 March 2013

T2 -- Acrobatics

Acrobatics is the art of performance of extraordinary feats of balance, agility and motor coordination.

China's Acrobatics has a long history of more than 3000 years.  Acrobatics began in the Spring & Autumn Period (771 - 476 BC) and the era of Warring States Period (475 - 221 BC).

During Han Dynasty, Acrobatics served as a main entertainment for the rulers in the palace.  Later, as the popularity of drama rose, acrobatics was relegated to performance at streets and villages.  In the past, acrobatics faced with the danger of extinction and most acrobats lived in poverty.

Now, China consider acrobatics as an art, foster and care for it.  China's acrobatics has become a comprehensive art form and won high praise home and abroad.

The set of six stamps use traditional programs of China's acrobatics as the design endows acrobatics new time feature.

(6-1) 8 fen The Lion-dance 舞狮
(6-2) 8 fen Handstand on Chairs 叠椅
(6-3) 8 fen Twirling Bamboo Diabolos 抖空竹
(6-4) 8 fen Balancing a Jar 顶坛
(6-5) 8 fen Plate Spinning 转碟
(6-6) 8 fen Stepping the Umbrella 蹬伞

(6-1)【The Lion-dance】Acrobatics Lion Dance has evolved from old folk lion dance in China.  Through the adaptation of the acrobats, it has become a very popular show with audiences.  There are two types of lions- big lion (played by two acrobats) and small lion (played by one acrobat).  They not only perform the various movements of the lion, rolling and jumping, but also portray the lion's strength and agility, and the quiet and playful side of the lion's character as well.

The stamp shows an acrobat stands on the body of a golden lion which itself is balancing on a big red ball.  This is a classic lion dance performance in Acrobatics shows.

(6-2)【Handstand on Chairs】Chair stacking is an example of common household items becoming props in the hands of talented acrobats.  A stack of chairs can reach over two stories high with acrobats balancing precariously on top.

The stamp shows a female acrobat shows off the exciting and dangerous moves of handstanding on top of a stack of chairs.

(6-3)【Twirling Bamboo Diabolos】Diabolo originated during the Han Dynasty era and is a traditional Chinese sport.  During festivals, people vie with one another in playing diabolo to express their jubilation and happiness. 
On the stamp, the acrobats spin the diabolo rapidly, twirling it round their bodies, throwing it up or passing it to one another with grace and dexterity.
(6-4)【Balancing a Jar】Jar, originally a grain container, was used by peasants to perform various feats during harvest celebration.  Later, it was adapted by acrobats into acrobatics performance to demonstrate simplicity and steadiness.  Balancing a single jar on the head is just the beginning of this unusual performance.  The acrobats proceed to balance and toss multiple jars and finally a big 25 pound jar.
The stamp shows two male acrobats balancing a spinning jar with their heads.

(6-5)【Plate Spinning】This performance keeps the acrobats continually moving while they balance numerous bamboo sticks that have plates spinning on top.  They are perfect in movement and beautiful in balance.

The stamp shows a female acrobat in a graceful ballet of balance, balancing a number of bamboo sticks with spinning plates on top.

(6-6)【Stepping the Umbrella】This involves a female acrobat, laying on a chair and spinning and juggling an umbrella with both her foot.  Through precise spinning motions with her toes, the umbrella seems to have life of its own, spinning, spiralling and floating in the air and not falling to the floor.

The stamp shows a female acrobat balancing and juggling an umbrella with her foot.

T2 – Acrobatics  杂技
Issue Date: 1974.1.21
Serial Number:
Scott No.:
Michel No.:
Number of stamps in Set:
8 fen for stamp 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Quantity of Issue:
10,000,000 for stamp 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Sheet Composition:
Stamp 1, 2, 5, 6 -- 35 (7 X 5)
Stamp 3, 4 -- 35 (5 X 7)
Size of stamps:
Stamp 1, 2, 5, 6 -- 27 X 60 mm
Stamp 3, 4 -- 60 X 27 mm
Wan Weisheng  万维生
Printing Process:


Printing House:
Beijing Postage Stamp Printing Works

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