the Poem of Kung Fu Nine Scrolls stages in Sydney

Martial arts meets dance, meets poetry in Poem of Kungfu: Nine Scrolls, an award-winning dance theatre production from renowned Chinese body-art master Liu Zhen. Fusing the ancient art of kung fu with traditional Chinese dance, the colourful piece moves through a variety of scenes, each with a different theme, tone and tempo.

Director Zhen explains the connection between kung fu and poetry: "We have chosen to call this Poem of Kungfu: Nine Scrolls because poetry is like Kung Fu ... it can be abstract and real at the same time."

Making up the Nine Scrolls are purity, sutra, diligence, intelligence, listening, shape, calmness, devotion and paradise which, according to Zhen, "are presented like a poem of prose from joy, sadness, anger to euphoria; one moment mystical, full of grace and whimsy, the next powerful and dramatic."

On top of the 27 performers featured (including the scarily talented 10-year-old Miao Shuaifeng), actor Tony Barry narrates the piece, bridging the cultural gap between East and West. Musical accompaniment comes from singer Cherlie Valaray and pianist Ester Balasch Lozano, who helps to highlight the beauty and fluidity of the performer's movements.

This is the first time that this multi-award-winning production has somersaulted onto our shores, coming directly from Beijing.


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