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SuSu and Charles “Pug” Ravenel’s lovely South of Broad garden set the scene for the Spoleto Traces after party Saturday night. Large, pink Japanese lanterns lit the tree-draped lawn as the Ravenels in addition to co-hosts Bobbi and Don Bernstein and Amy and Philip Blumenthal greeted guests. A lovely spread of appetizers, including the quirky miniature chicken ’n waffles, were passed courtesy of Cru Cafe. But the highlight of the evening was when the incredible cast of Traces arrived.
Fresh off their 8 p.m. performance, the athletic seven mingled in chatting with their American, Quebecois, and Chinese accents. The gathered, who had caught the earlier performance, were visibly impressed by the stellar troupe, asking questions regarding their circus and gymnastics training. Xia Zhengqi shared that he had been selected at age nine to train with a Chinese circus troupe and prior to joining Les 7 Doigts de la Main, had performed with Cirque du Soleil for three years. The performance earlier had actually been sans one of the seven performers and Zhengqi and cast member Bradley Henderson confirmed that the acrobat had been injured in an earlier show. But they shrugged it off. Such is the life of a modern day circus member. Luckily, the party gave the performers a chance to relax after another night of death-defying leaping, flipping, spinning, and juggling.