It Starts Out Like A Typical Performance, But Wait Until They Start Levitating
Because of the name, there is a common misconception that acrobatics originated in ancient Greece. After all, the name is Greek for "to walk on tiptoe", borrowing the word "acro" meaning "height." And, while the Ancient Greeks were certainly instrumental in developing the art form for use in noble court displays, they were not the only ones. But, it is China that may have originated acrobatics during the Western Han Dynasty in 206 BCE. During the 7th through 10th Centuries, Chinese acrobatics gravitated to the royal courts, much in the way of their western counterparts. Today, the acrobatic tradition continues in China as an important part of folk performance and variety show culture.