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Issue: 1153 Date: 9/27/2012
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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents DRAGONS is a once in a millennium event that honors The Year of the Dragon

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        Circus performers from the farthest reaches of the earth have assembled for Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS to showcase their astounding acts of bravery and astonishing athleticism.

        Ringling Bros. Ringmaster Jonathan Lee Iverson presides over this fantastical celebratory tournament of circus champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats. DRAGONS is a never-before-seen blend of renowned spiritual and real life legends that can be found only at The Greatest Show On Earth!

        The Shaolin Troupe displays supernatural strength and unbelievable agility in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents DRAGONS, coming to St. Louis in October.

        Performances are held at Scottrade Center from Thursday, October 11 through Sunday, October 14. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or at the Scottrade Center box office at 1401 Clark Ave. in downtown St. Louis.

        Summoning their inner "qi," the Shaolin Troupe meditates an hour a day to balance their energy so that their minds and bodies can focus on performing the unimaginable for The Greatest Show On Earth

        During DRAGONS the Shaolin Troupe represents the Eastern Dragon tribe that symbolizes wisdom.

        Children Of All Ages witness several amazing feats during their performance as these warriors apply powerful concentration and skill to break wooden and metal poles in one precise strike.

        Troupe members also get lifted seven feet into the air on the points of five handheld spears, balance on top of spinning tridents and use a special Kung Fu animal discipline to represent several types of animals.

        Most of the troupe members have been together for 10 years, performing all over the world, including Germany, France, Russia, Japan and Brazil. The troupe has also participated in various martial arts matches and has been awarded the prestigious Praying Mantis Award for their animal discipline at the International Shaolin Martial Arts Competition.

        Graduates of various martial arts schools throughout China, the Shaolin Troupe members are18 young men who range in age from 19 to 31 and were recruited by coaches after they held elite auditions at their schools.

        As with most members of the group, troupe leader, Sun, knew that he wanted to become a master in Kung Fu at the young age of 10. He began practicing Shaolin Kung Fu at the age of 15. Sun was chosen to lead the troupe after he displayed expertise in the art form and extraordinary competence in leadership.

        "Martial art is a discipline because you need to have discipline to practice it. To maintain our physical ability and expertise in the art, we rely on our qi energy and make sure that we practice up to six hours a day," explains Sun.

        Making their debut with The Greatest Show On Earth, the Shaolin Troupe is honored to be apart of a unique edition that celebrates the diverse characteristics that the dragon symbolizes. To keep troupe members in good condition and form, the troupes personal cook, teacher and coach are traveling with them.

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