October 19, 2007

Martial Arts Master on Run from Crime

The murder of Anan Liu and the abandonment of her 3-year-old daughter at a Melbourne railway station led police to suspect husband and father Xue (Michael) Naiyin, a martial arts master. A history of family violence had already brought them in touch with police over the past year. This event has shocked the taijiquan world.

Xue, 54, who according to his website, had once been Chairman of the Liaoning Taijiquan Association and a coach at the Liaoning Taijiquan Training Center practiced xingyi, bagua, and Wu style taijiquan and had immigrated to New Zealand in 1996, where he had set up shop as a Chinese-language magazine publisher.
In 2000, Xue had spent a number of months in Los Angeles touting himself as a master, during which he misrepresented his skills and training, and alienated many people in the taijiquan and Chinese communities. Xue was so convincing, he was featured on the cover of T’ai Chi magazine that year.

Anan Liu’s remains were found in the family car’s trunk. Grandmother Liu is to take custody of the unfortunate child.
Xue, now wanted for murder and kidnapping, escaped to the United States, where he was last seen in Los Angeles Chinatown. An international force is in search of him with full support of the Asian media in California. Anyone with information is urged to contact the authorities immediately.(Compiled from the Sydney Morning Herald, USA Today, and other sources, October 2007)

October 4, 2007

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre to Tour

The acclaimed Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will be touring North and South America this September and October, visiting Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Minneapolis, Chapel Hill, the University of Kansas, New York City, and Sao Paulo. See their website for dates and ticket information.

Cloud Gate's rich repertoire has its roots in Asian myths, folklore, and aesthetics, but it brings to these age-old beliefs and stories a contemporary and universal perspective. The company is made up of two-dozen dancers whose training includes Tai Chi Tao Yin (an ancient form of Chi Kung), meditation, martial arts, Chinese Opera movement, modern dance, ballet, and calligraphy.

Wild Cursive is the result of a long journey into the ancient practice of movement and spirituality. In 2001, Lin Hwai-min further explored the possibilities of Tai Chi Tao Yin and martial arts, and created Cursive, with its title derived from Chinese calligraphy. After studying Chinese calligraphy masterpieces, Lin found, despite the differences in styles, all the brush works shared one common element: the focused energy with which the calligraphers“danced”during writing. He asked Cloud Gate dancers to improvise by facing blown-up images of calligraphy. The dancers absorbed the energy, or Chi, of the writer, and imitated the linear“route”of ink, full of lyrical flows and strong punctuations, with rich variations in energy. The exercise produced unimaginable movements, with subtle slow motions and dynamic martial-arts-like attacks. These eventually became the movement material for Cursive, a work of stunning beauty that has received rave reviews in Europe and the U.S., where it opened the American Dance Festival in 2003.

Inspired by the spirit of “wild calligraphy,” Wild Cursive utilizes paper as its only set. On a stage covered by white marley, streams of white rice paper cascade to the floor with black ink pouring from hidden pipes above, and seeping on to the paper slowly and almost invisibly. The ink feathers and spreads in abstract patterns true to the spirit of chance as set forth in I-Ching -- The Book of Changes. With these traces of time accumulating, an art installation of“set in progress”emerges. As the ink breaths through the performance, the lighting design illuminates the transparency of the rice paper and thereby enhancing the power of the flowing black images.

Hong Kong Gathers Taiji Crowd

What do you do with an old airport? You set up a taiji event—a really big one! More than 20,000 people did taiji together on September 30th in a celebration of the Hong Kong special administrative region's 10th anniversary. The Mega Tai Chi Show was sponsered by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Wushu Union, the Chinese Martial Arts Dragon and Lion Dance Association, and the Tai Chi Association, and featured local and national masters. More at Hong Kong government news.

Elsewhere in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Tourist Board organizes classes for tourists. "Depending on the day of the week, the Meet the People program highlights feng shui, tai chi, traditional medicine, Cantonese opera, cake-making and Chinese tea. There are also guided walks, a kung fu demonstration and a ride on a Chinese junk." More from Dallas News.