Switzerland’s Young Stage 2012 International Circus Festival Basel, sometimes called the “circus Oscars,” was held at the end of May for its third year. Sung Chia-cheng, a student at Taipei Physical Education College who gained notoriety after traveling to China to participate in China’s Got Talent, dressed up as an Indian prince for the festival in Basel, combining theater, dance and playing Chinese yo-yo, also known as “pulling bell” or che ling in Mandarin. He is the first Asian to ever win the first place Golden Star award, be voted top contender by the audience, and be selected to give a Grand Prix performance on Swiss national television.
The 19-year-old’s biggest dream is to one day be able to join renowned circus troupe Cirque du Soleil. At the beginning of the year, Sung traveled China to compete on a Dragon TV contest show. Out of more than 10,000 contestants, Sung came in second place, wearing his well-known clown costume and using the very technically demanding burning Chinese yo-yos.
Sung successfully advanced to compete in the circus festival, eventually becoming one of the 16 final contestants chosen out of 200 audition tapes sent from all over the world. During the competition, which ended two weeks ago, he combined the highly challenging single, double, triple, and vertical yoyos in a six-minute performance that stunned his audience and left them cheering ecstatically.
“I never think about winning. I just think about how to come up with something new and inventive,” Sung said. This was the first time he ever competed overseas by himself, so he decided to wear an Indian outfit and add LED lighting to his Chinese yo-yo’s, combining theater and modern dance in ways that went beyond showcasing his skills and put more life into his act.
1. theater n.
戲劇 (xi4 ju4)
例: After a long and illustrious career working in theater, she decided to start making films at the age of 60.
2. audience n.
觀眾 (guan1 zhong4)
例: The audience found the comedian’s jokes distasteful.
3. interview n.
採訪 (cai2 fang3)
例: The interviewee hesitated to answer many of his interviewer’s more sensitive questions during the interview.
His teacher, Liu Shu-yi, also commented on how this was the first time an Asian had ever been selected to perform in the competition, and that Sung beat all of the other talented competitors from 16 different countries. In four rounds of audience voting, he was voted top performer by the audience and voted best performer by the national Swiss television station. Sung will be traveling to Switzerland in September for an interview and to give a performance at the television station.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)