Kung fu monks bring the WOW factor back again

Last updated 05:00 16/07/2014
Shaolin monks
ROBERT KITCHIN/ Fairfax NZ
LEAP OF FAITH: Shaolin monks on Wellington’s waterfront before an international arts festival performance in 2010. A different, but equally awe-inspiring, troupe of the Chinese monastery’s fighting monks will be visiting Wellington for performances at World of WearableArts in September.

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The World of WearableArt event will have an extra kick this year - a troupe of Shaolin monks are coming from China to polish off the performance.

Fifteen kung fu fighting monks from the legendary Shaolin Monastery in Henan will fly out before opening night of the three-week season on September 25.

They will perform in the closing section of each night's show, which has been themed to celebrate the kingdoms of the east, WoW creative director Malia Johnston says.

"They bring a very specific skill set and philosophy of performance. I'm excited to see how the relationship with other performers will develop as we rehearse."

The Shaolin monks had an international reputation as the ultimate Buddhist warriors, and displayed amazing feats of strength, flexibility and endurance to pain, Johnston said.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the visit was the result of the mayoral delegation to China in May, in which a memorandum of co-operation was signed with China's vice-minister of culture, though the visit is being paid for by WoW.

This year's season of WoW has been extended to cover a third weekend, and 8000 more tickets are available.

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- The Dominion Post

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