Di­abolo moves on show at fes­ti­val

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KARINA ABADIA

A group of first gen­er­a­tion New Zealan­ders have found a novel way to con­nect with their Chi­nese roots.

Per­form­ing tricks with a jug­gling prop known as a di­abolo is not only heaps of fun but it’s also a real crowd pleaser, Auck­land Di­abolo Group mem­ber Tony Zhang says.

The tool de­vel­oped from the Chi­nese yo-yo and is made up of an axle and two cups or discs which you spin us­ing a string at­tached to sticks.

It’s be­come a pop­u­lar act with cir­cuses around the world and can be used to per­form hun­dreds of tricks, which in­clude throws, var­i­ous types of spin­ning and in­ter­ac­tions with other per­form­ers.

Auck­land Gram­mar School stu­dents formed a di­abolo per­for­mance group sev­eral years ago, partly as a way for old boys to stay in touch af­ter grad­u­a­tion, Mr Zhang says. The group of about 17 New Zealand-born Chi­nese mem­bers meet weekly to hone their skills and share their knowl­edge.

They started out by watch­ing in­struc­tional videos on YouTube, comem­ber Ming Yong says.

‘‘Then those who were re­ally into it taught oth­ers. We also make up tricks our­selves. You can be re­ally cre­ative with it.’’

The two Ep­som res­i­dents have per­formed at the Auck­land Lan­tern Fes­ti­val with other mem­bers for the past three years. They also of­fer daily work­shops dur­ing the fes­ti­val.

Mr Zhang gets a kick out of wow­ing the crowds.

‘‘What’s re­ally cool for us is that not many peo­ple do [tricks with a di­abolo] in Auck­land so we’re quite unique. It’s re­ally nice to be able to show off some­thing that’s part of our her­itage and cul­ture.

‘‘When peo­ple cheer for us on stage, it’s a good feel­ing,’’ Mr Yong says. ‘‘It gives me en­cour­age­ment to get bet­ter and show that you can re­ally do a lot of cool things with a di­abolo.’’

They have ramped up their prac­tice sessions to 10 hours a week over the past couple of months to pre­pare for their 10 minute rou­tine at the fes­ti­val.


Im­pres­sive moves: Auck­land Di­abolo Group mem­bers Ming Yong and Tony Zhang will per­form with two oth­ers and give work­shops on how to do tricks with a di­abolo dur­ing Auck­land Lan­tern Fes­ti­val.

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