SHIJIAZHUANG, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Standing on a plank of wood atop a stack of tubes, a shaky Portuguese acrobat carefully adjusted his position and eventually found his balance. The audience watched with wide eyes, hearts aflutter.
This captivating performance at the 18th China Wuqiao International Circus Festival in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, was among several online competition acts recommended for inclusion by the seasoned circus professional Peter Dubinsky.
This year's edition, which runs from Sept. 28 to 30, features 35 performances by Chinese and foreign acrobats. Due to epidemic prevention and control measures, the acrobatics competition, a major section of the festival, was held online, enabling people worldwide to watch via live-streaming.
Dubinsky, from Russia, has been engaged in circus art for more than 40 years and worked in the Moscow State Circus as director and producer for several years. Now he is the president of a U.S.-based production company.
As a foreign artistic consultant and member of the jury at this year's festival, his duty is to recommend world-class acrobatic performances and programs for the event.
"Now the epidemic is spreading all over the world, but the virus can't block cultural exchanges," said 61-year-old Dubinsky in an interview with Xinhua.
Speaking highly of the festival as one of the best acrobatics events in the world, he said he was very glad that the organizers overcame various difficulties, made bold innovations and moved the competition online so that it could be held as scheduled.
Founded in 1987, the biennial festival boasts the largest scale and the widest influence in the field of acrobatics in China. It's also one of China's longest-running art competitions and cultural festivals.
Dubinsky has been invited to the festival as an artistic consultant and jury member on several occasions. In addition to technical abilities such as tossing, jumping and balance, he believes an excellent acrobatic program should also be creative and with great visual effects.
The experienced circus professional said the Wuqiao festival is a platform for Chinese acrobatics to enter the world stage.
"Chinese acrobatics is among the best in the world, and the acrobatic group represented by Wuqiao acrobatic art school in Hebei has constantly innovated and won honors and awards in many international competitions," he noted.
Dubinsky said he couldn't wait to attend the next festival in person. "I miss my Chinese colleagues and friends very much. I hope all countries can unite to fight the epidemic and overcome the epidemic as soon as possible."