Diabolo Dance Theater (舞鈴劇場) was one of only five Taiwanese groups invited to perform in Aichi, Japan, at the World Expo 2005 and now the group is back in Taiwan for its first-ever performance at the National Theater this weekend, The Game of Diabolo Dance (嬉遊舞鈴).
Diabolo, which comes from the Greek dia (across) and bale (throw) doesn't give you much idea of the actual object or its history. The diabolo is a toy that was invented 4,000 years ago in China where it was called "hollow bamboo" (空竹). Back then it was made of two hollow bamboo wheels attached in the center and it was spun and tossed about from a string -- like a free-flying yoyo.
English and French travelers to China took the toy back home to Europe with them around 1800, where it was given the name of diabolo. The game gained popularity in the 19th century among aristocrats, who played it like tennis with elegant poses and in dainty white outfits. The object itself underwent a few changes and the hourglass shape emerged (a form that would later gain popularity in China and Taiwan). Taiwan folks games