Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting!
Firstly, let me tell those of you who don’t know, that song in the header has huge Indian connections. It was produced by Biddu! A certain generation in India grew up on Enter the Dragon and The Temple of Shaolin and thought Bruce Lee was all ‘that’! I was a part of that generation, so though I found no pleasure in the art of Kung Fu, I was always very intrigued by it. When I heard that the Chinese production of ‘Legend of Kung Fu’ was coming to Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon, that whole era came rushing back to me. On a personal note, I don’t much care for plays per se but I love musicals, dance drama’s and recitals, so I was quite happy about checking out ‘Legend of Kung Fu’. I wanted to go with a fresh perspective so I steered clear of YouTube and Google and am so glad I did!
The production is spectacular, in every way. Considering these guys performed at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, you can just about imagine the sort of quality they bring to the stage! The story is of a young boy, left by his mother in the care of a Kung Fu master who takes him through a lyrical and beautifully composed journey of the legendary Chun Yi, a man who would go on to become the stuff legends are made of. The fusion of martial arts and ballet turned out to be such a lovely marriage, the ballet dancers and the ripped martial performers and acrobats worked in such harmony and fluidity, no wonder because they did 600 shows last year; that’s almost 2 a day and usually the same cast! Watch the show for its raw power, its phenomenal and prophetic message and the fact that for once you have protagonists with 6 packs that aren’t just eye-candy. These boys and girls are extraordinarily talented; the acts of endurance left us speechless and strangely enough, seeing a man balance on a Trishul on his navel induced a sense of magic and nothing less. The show is bi-lingual which is so refreshing, I was truly impressed by the eloquence of the orator and the operatic voices of the singers. Don’t miss the sets, they are magnanimous and very creative, you can see how every talent of China is involved in this theatrical wonder, software engineers, mechanical engineers, architects, musicians and of course the performers themselves. The costumes are dramatic and so functional because these guys are across the stage and up in the air by the second, there is one segment which reminded me of a flying Dervishes performance I had seen! For once I found myself riveted by something I was certain I could never do. After watching the children in the show perform, I felt this is something every child should see, what they could be doing with their lives. The discipline, the power, the level of concentration and commitment has to be seen to be believed. The depiction of turmoil, tribulation and triumph is where the acting skills of the performers shine through. I think I need to see this show once more, for the seconds I missed whilst I was gasping, yes it is that good!
The show has been performed over 6000 times since 2007, across the world and has finally made it to India, a country the Tour executives said they feel a lot of connection with, considering our history, traditions and cultures. The troop size visiting India is just 49 which was a shocker because after 90 minutes of a pulsating performance I felt I has seen a hundred people do a hundred different things! Catch the show at Nautanki Mahal in Kingdom of Dreams from 29th Jan. ’13 – 5th Feb. ’13. You can buy tickets at the venue itself or online at Book My Show, the Kingdom of Dreams website and even their Facebook page!