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The number of acrobats in Spoleto's Monkey: Journey to the West

It was Spoleto's marquee event not because the music was by Damon Albarn (Blur), animation by Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz), and direction by Chen Shi-Zheng (Dark Matter). It was the annual festival's most popular show because of the acrobats.

That's right. The acrobats.

Don't believe me? Just ask the thousands who bought tickets to the 18 performances of this "circus opera" at the Sottile Theatre. These aren't just any acrobats; these are Dalian acrobats, which means they are of a tradition that goes back a long, long way. Their acrobats include jugglers, sword dancers, contortionists, and plate twirlers. Almost every scene features some kind of stunning, supernatural, and superhuman feat.

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