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Thread: Ballet-fu.

  1. #16
    When we fight we were taught curved back for Shaolin KF
    ***SONIC KICK***

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Sydney, Australia
    I practice Yang style Tai Chi.
    In my linages teachings the spine bows slightly from the ming men when there is retraction and it straitens as you extend.
    The reason many people say Yang style has a strait spine is that when you are in a posture you at the extension of the movement, hence the spine is strait. This means that basicaly every still picture of Yang style will include a strait spine.

    To keep the spine strait all the time is not only bad for balance but also means a massive hit to power.
    Having said that a lot of people only learn the basics of Tai Chi and as such have only a very basic understanding of what is going on in there bodys as oppossed to simply there hands.
    This is one of the hardest parts of good Yang and its the one currently giving me the most problems as i have a very tense lower back.
    Up and down, forward and backward, left and right, its all the same. All of this is done with the mind, not externaly.
    Shaped dragon and looking monkey, sitting tiger and turning eagle.

    "I wonder how they would do against jon's no-tension fu. I bet they'd do REALLY WELL."
    - Huang Kai Vun

  3. #18


    Good fighters and good dancers have one essential thing in common.

    Good balance. Without good balance, you haven't got a chance of
    doing either correctly.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Southern England


    In my linages teachings the spine bows slightly from the ming men when there is retraction and it straitens as you extend.
    The reason many people say Yang style has a strait spine is that when you are in a posture you at the extension of the movement, hence the spine is strait.
    Jon, I have difficulty understanding my teacher as he is Chinese (doesn't speak ANY English) but all he has taught me so far (in 5 lessons) is Zhan Zhuang standing and some qigong from that position. He has demonstrated by drawing two comparative diagrams that the lower spine should be straight in these postures. He also stresses that I should be upright (strong like a tree) and stretch my spine.

    Do you think that the reason for this (the straight back) could be because in these exercises you are basically in an extended position?

    I think what you were saying in your above post is that if the back is never bent slightly then how can you generate power? When you say retraction (back bowed) and then extension (back straight) are you talking about generating/expressing power? Is this 'coiling'?

    If this is the case then I guess I will arrive at the back bending stuff in due course!

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Chinese ballet companies

    What’s Chinese About Chinese Ballet?
    Two companies making their debuts at Lincoln Center showed promise, but also a dispiriting sense of the familiar.

    Guangzhou Ballet in Jiang Qi’s “Carmina Burana,” set to Carl Orff. Credit Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

    Brian Seibert
    By Brian Seibert
    Aug. 27, 2019

    The middle of August in New York usually means slim pickings for dance. So the debuts of two ballet companies at Lincoln Center on two consecutive August weekends would have stood out, even if the companies had not both been Chinese.

    But they were: Guangzhou Ballet and Liaoning Ballet. This intrigued me and also made me wary. The Chinese ballet productions that have appeared at David H. Koch Theater in recent years have struck me as awfully high in melodrama and kitsch, conflating ballet with acrobatics, the choreography and music mired in formulas and clichés both Western and Chinese.

    But then, in early August, the Chinese dance-theater production “Under Siege” came to the Koch, as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival. This wasn’t ballet, and it certainly had elements of kitsch and cliché, but its use of several Chinese traditions — high-level martial arts, borrowings from Beijing Opera, virtuosic pipa players — was freshly entertaining. Its modern, semi-Westernized adaptation of an ancient Chinese story basically worked.

    Buoyed by this example, I gave the Guangzhou and Liaoning companies a try, only to get another surprise: the high level of competence of both companies. And yet there was also a dispiriting sense of the familiar.

    Anyone expecting ballet-as-usual might have been happy with the performances. Anyone hoping for something fresh and different in a visiting troupe — something revelatory or challenging, even a cultural clash — was bound to be disappointed.

    With “Mulan,” the Liaoning company, founded in 1980, came closest to earlier Chinese ballet productions seen here. Even if you didn’t know the story of the young woman who pretends to be a man so that she can take her aging father’s place in the army — a legend familiar to global audiences through the 1998 Disney animated film — you could easily follow it in this clear, smooth telling. (The ballet travels to Washington in September.)

    Clear, smooth and dull. The choreographers, Chen Huifen and Wang Yong, adapt ballet conventions in a nearly rote fashion. When Mulan is homesick, she watches a flock of wild geese — a female corps de ballet doing stock ballet-bird moves. In the midst of battle, she tosses off a string of whip-around fouetté turns as if she were the Black Swan in “Swan Lake.” Not every Chinese company needs the martial-arts flair of “Under Siege,” but this medium-paced melee was a letdown, hampered by the wrong conventions.

    Guangzhou Ballet performing “Goddess of the Luo River,” based on a Chinese legend about nature and transformation.Credit Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

    Adhering to ballet convention almost seemed to be the goal. It was the overt intention of Liaoning’s other program. The first half was standard gala fare — duets from “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker,” the “Le Corsaire” pas de trois — and the performances were committed, careful, entirely respectable.

    The second half was a different set of conventions, all up-to-date. Some pieces were by European choreographers: Marc Ribaud (French); Rui Lopes Graca (Portuguese). Some were by Chinese dance-makers: Fei Bo, the resident choreographer of the National Ballet of China; Wang Yuanyuan, the founding director of Beijing Dance Theater. Except for some terrible music, nothing was especially good or bad or particularly Chinese, though it all gave the dancers a chance to display their proficiency in the undulant noodling, hyperextension and cool attitudes of worldwide contemporary International style.

    The situation was similar with the Guangzhou troupe, founded in 1993. In “Goddess of the Luo River,” the Canadian choreographer Peter Quanz referred to another Chinese legend, a story of nature and transformation. But what it looked like was a decent pastiche of a George Balanchine mode: daisy chains and pretty formations suggesting water and the separation of two lovers, all carefully matched to the music (a saccharine violin concerto by Du Mingxin).

    In “Carmina Burana,” by Jiang Qi, who was born and trained in China but has spent much of his career in Utah and Cincinnati, the music was Carl Orff’s medieval-inspired cantata, interpreted as an odd sort of Rite of Spring, the sacrifice to placate Nature somehow mixed up with drunk soldiers and temptresses, teenage romance and boyfriend-stealing. There were lots of steps and little sense.

    Zhang Haidong, left, and Yu Chuanya in the Liaoning company’s “Mulan.”Credit Li Mingming

    Was this a “bridge between Western and Eastern cultures,” as the program claimed? Was any of this what the Liaoning program called “ballet art pieces of Chinese characteristics?” Was there much Chinese about these ballets besides the dancers performing them?

    Only on the surface. There need not be, of course. Ballet is an international language. Danes have made great ballets out of Hans Christian Andersen stories, just as Americans have made ballets about cowboys or sailors on shore leave in New York, but choreographers all over the world have furthered classicism and modernism in directions not so obviously connected to national style. A Chinese troupe might make a great work about, say, 17th-century France or transform the classical language in some pathbreaking way.

    Mainly, the performances by the Guangzhou and Liaoning troupes were mediocre, at the level of good regional groups from countries with much longer histories of ballet. That is its own accomplishment. If you lived in the city of Guangzhou or the province of Liaoning, and these were your local ballet companies, you could be proud. And if you live in the United States, and it means something to you to see Chinese dancers doing ballet well, these companies can serve that purpose just fine.
    Ballet fu
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Kung Fu Ballet

    Clown Shoes Beer Comic Introduces a Kung Fu Master's Beer Mecca (Exclusive)
    CBR has an exclusive preview of the next chapter in Clown Shoes Beer's Kung Fu Ballet comic, which can be found on its newest beer Ancient Hills.


    A kung fu master discovers his beer mecca in an exclusive preview of Clown Shoes Beer's Kung Fu Ballet series of comics.

    The preview of the next installment in the Kung Fu Ballet series is timed to the release of Clown Shoes' next beer, Ancient Hills. The comic strip is written by Clown Shoes Founder/CEO Gregg Berman and illustrated by artist and designer Michael Axt. The chapter finds Master Clown Shoes as he finds a brewery during his journey across these Ancient Hills, where he is allowed entry and given a job following the events of his origin story.

    "I'm personally a comic book geek, to some extent. When I was younger, I was really into it, and then a friend of mine owns a comic book store, so I got back into reading some trades in my adult years," Berman told CBR about the idea of crafting a comic book through beer. "It builds on something I enjoy. We have a full-time illustrator, Michael Axt, who works with the Clown Shoes team and has for about eight years, so we've done some small-scale [comics] that have just been on the cans before."

    He added, "It just seemed like it made sense. We really wanted to bring attention to our barrel-aged beers, which are an important part of what we do. [We thought we'd] do some integration with that end of the spectrum of creativity and have fun with it, maybe get some engagement."

    "A lot of my inspirations are just little moments of epiphany," Berman said regarding the creation of Kung Fu Ballet. "I play with words and thoughts and ideas in my mind and think about things that might work with the brand. We've done some kung-fu beers, as well, in the past. We had one called Eagle Claw Fist, in particular, and there’s a variation of that called Eagle Crawfish. Kung-fu is something I also enjoy, and I'm actually trying to use some of the really goofy kung-fu movies I watched when I was younger, as some of my influence to put this all together. And ballet -- when you think of goofy clown shoes, it just makes it all kind of absurd and fun at the same time. It resonated when I put that combo of words together, and then this all just started spinning off of that."

    He also discussed how consumers will be able to read the comic. "There's a QR code, which you can scan and go to the website to read Chapter 1," he said. "We got really backed up with labels at the beginning of the year, so we couldn't prioritize the comic, but we're catching up and we should be able to get ahead on the comic so there's a really smooth release of the beer and the comic at the same time."

    The Ancient Hills beer is a 10 percent ABV bourbon barrel-aged chocolate stout with an abundance of rich flavor. Ancient Hills and the Kung Fu Ballet comic strip are now available to purchase.

    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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