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Hailed as everything from "the father of modern acrobatics" to the "rabble-rouser of Chinese circus," Master Trainer Lu Yi brings his trademark humor and acrobatic philosophy to his own life story in Training is Bitter.
He recalls a nearly seven-decade career of incredible feats and bitter challenges. At just eleven years old, Lu Yi faced cruel methods and harsh beatings from the coach of his first acrobatic troupe. He went on to become a celebrated performer known for acrobatic creativity who invented a number of tricks-including one that, as far as he knows, has never been replicated. He toured the world as a star acrobat, served as artistic director of both the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe and the San Francisco Circus Center, and established the first Chinese Acrobatics training program in the United States.
Through engaging first-hand accounts and detailed historical essays, Training is Bitter, written with former student Devin Holt, offers a picture of a man who inspired generations of students to endure the hard, bitter training necessary to perform on the world's biggest circus stages.
"If you've watched a circus in the last twenty years, you've seen Master Lu Yi's work. He changed circus in North America and Australia in profound and beautiful ways. He was also my teacher and a dear friend. Training is Bitter gives you a taste of Lu Yi's philosophy and why he is beloved by performers around the world."
-JEFF RAZ, former Cirque du Soleil star and author of The Secret Life of Clowns