"Dear San Francisco" features two performers who fell in love on stage and in life, KTVU’s Claudine Wong reports.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The show, "Dear San Francisco", is a love letter to the city. It is a show with breathtaking feats of skill and strength, but this show is about much more.
"They come prepared for acrobatics and to be wowed by the physical accomplishment," said David Dower, the executive director of Club Fugazi, "but they aren't prepared for the story. And they aren't prepared for how the story moves them."
The audience is moved by the many stories within the story. One that no doubt would pull on your heartstrings is the love story of Enmeng Song and Shengnan Pan.
When asked about his thoughts while watching Pan perform, Song responded, "Beautiful, what a beautiful human."
When Pan was asked the same question, she described Song as "very cool."
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It seemed these two may have always been meant to be both on stage and in life. Their story started in China; both were recruited by the same circus school. Song was 11 years old, and Pan was just 8.
"We have to live in the school," explained Song. "We don't live with our family. We eat at the school. We sleep with our classmates. It's like an army."
Even though they were both in the same school, that was not where they met. Their paths crossed 10 years ago as they were both performing for different groups in Canada.
"It was during her rehearsal and my creation for a different product and we met," said Song. "We had dinner with two other friends."
They were friends at first, but eventually fell in love. That's when they realized something needed to change.
"We realized we want to be together," explained Song. "So we have to learn something together, the same act. That's why I started learning Chinese yo-yo from her."
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The Chinese yo-yo, also known as the Diabolo, is traditionally only performed by women and was also Pan's specialty. If they were going to perform together, Pan needed to teach Song.
Pan would record videos of herself playing the Diabolo and send them to Song, he explained. "And I was like, ‘Oh my god, are you serious?’ I don't know how many times I wanted to give up. I can't. It's too hard."
It wasn't just about learning the Diabolo, it was about mastering it. "If you want to be at (Pan's) level, it's too hard," said Song.
Song said he couldn't give up because mastering the skill meant the two being together. "Otherwise, I'll, for sure, give up easily," said Song.
It took Song three hours a day, five to seven days a week, for five years until he said he was good enough to perform on stage. Even then, the couple had to figure out how to perform together.
Pan said it wasn't uncommon for them to get into disagreements. "Yeah, we fight," said Pan laughing.
But success on stage allowed them to be together, get married, and have two beautiful children.
It is the story you see when you watch them perform on the stage of Club Fugazi.
Separately, they perform amazing feats, Song juggles hats and dives through hoops, and Pan balances umbrellas. But when they share the stage together, there is just something special.
The Diabolo, they tell the audience, "brought us to you."
"I feel now life is complete with her on stage with me," said Song.
It is a love story forever entwined in this love letter to San Francisco where Pan wrote, "Dear San Francisco nowhere was my home until I met you."
They love this city and it has loved them right back.
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'Dear San Francisco' features an acrobatic love story – KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco