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New show is fusion of martial art and theatre

Last updated 05:00 12/11/2010

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Willie Ying may make wushu look effortless, especially when he's attached to wires and pulleys, but it's something he does not take lightly.

"Wu means military and shu means skill. There are so many kinds of martial arts but this is the mother of them," he says.

The 35-year-old Mt Roskill resident is on a mission to share his passion for wushu by providing a free and entertaining one-off theatre show called China Genesis.

"We want people to know what is behind wushu and what they can do with it, by showcasing what we can do," he says.

"The story is based on the traditional Chinese philosophy yin and yang and involves wushu martial arts, stunts, drama and wire works. It physically expresses out how yin and yang formed at the beginning of the time in China.

"The most important goal is to entertain the audience in a different way. My other goal is to innovate a new look for the martial arts industry as well as the drama and acting industry in New Zealand," Mr Ying says.

"I love it. It's like art to me and I'm working hard to let people know about it. It's something I want to do for the rest of my life."

The producer and director has enlisted Xu Han and Mitchell Kwan from his wushu team, Dragon Origin, to be lead characters in the show.

Mr Han has been studying martial arts for more than half his life and is a graduate of Beijing Sports University.

"It's very good for your health and character," the 21-year-old says.

"It also helped to teach me the philosophy behind Chinese culture. I hope more people get to know about wushu and its culture."

The 18-year-old Mr Kwan perfects his weaponry skills in wushu when he is not studying at Auckland University.

"For me, it's more of an art form than a sport.

"I like its emphasis on acrobatics and the beautiful fluidity of movement," he says.

"This is the first of its kind. It's a fusion of martial arts theatre and storytelling so there will be something for everyone."

Dragon Origin will perform China Genesis this Sunday at the Freemans Bay Community Centre, 52 Hepburn St, Freemans Bay.

The two-hour show starts at 6.30pm.

Visit www.dragonorigin. or call 021-1069- 566 for more information.

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- Central Leader

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