Liu Xia, who is credited by the World Record Association with having done the most tricks within three minutes while doing a 5-m (5.5-yd) Dragon Dance with a diabolo, just broke her own record with a 7-m (7.7-yd) serpent banner.
The diabolo is a juggling or circus prop consisting of an axle and two cups or discs derived from the Chinese yo-yo. This object is spun using a string attached to two hand sticks. Possibly hundreds of tricks are possible, including tosses and interactions with the sticks, string, and parts of the user's body. Multiple diabolos can be spun on a single string. In 2006, it was designated a national intangible cultural heritage item for its long history and distinct play style.
Liu Xia makes her dragon dance
Liu not only has innovatively tied up a 5-m silk dragon to the diabolo, but also made up 23 different diabolo skills that could be incorporated into the three-minute performance.
Although a native of Hubei Province, Liu moved to Zhuhai in 1998. An unexpected illness hit her in September 2014. Surgeries were not very successful as she found it difficult to walk. It took more than a years' worth of treatment away from Zhuhai. Once her condition improved, Liu returned to the city.
Liu performs for volunteers [Photos by Zhu Xi / Zhujiang Evening News]
During the 2016 Lunar New Year, Liu met two people who changed her life while strolling in Bailiandong (White Lotus Cave) Park in Jida. They were Liu Pingyuan and Gao Mingnian, a couple well versed with diabolo. Fascinated, she became their apprentice. Liu is now unmatched in her grasp of the art form.
She expects to promote the centuries-old folk art by participating in competitions and performances. According to Liu, she hopes to make her record-breaking acts into videos and leave them to children and friends so that the traditional Chinese culture and the concept of fitness for all could be passed on to the younger generation.
Aside from diabolo and Dragon Dance, Lou also practices boxing.