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FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Regional bragging rights. Office betting pools. Sunday-afternoon boredom. These are all worthwhile reasons to be a sports fan. But for my money, the best defense of sports’ spectators has to be the vicarious thrill that we get from seeing athletes do all the cool stuff we can’t do, using the skills that make watching stuff such as world-class table tennis—the kind where they stand 5 feet back from the table—as fascinating as watching Jonny Moseley land a dinner roll. So unless you already know how to dance atop a stack of chairs, or juggle jars, desks, ladders, and bamboo with your feet, you’ll want to check out the National Acrobats of Taiwan, R.O.C. The performance won’t just be a physics lesson—the acts double as a primer on Chinese culture: The exercises that the almost-22-year-old troupe perform go as far back as the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E. to 240 A.D.), and some performances depict characters from ancient Chinese mythology, such as “Silk Wire,” in which an acrobat flying on silk wires doubles for the sky-mending goddess Nu-Wa, or “Contortion,” in which performers emerging from a crystal ball re-enact the Pan-ku creation myth. The National Acrobats of Taiwan, R.O.C., perform at 8 p.m. Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $20-$40. (703) 218-6500. (Joe Dempsey)