SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - A troupe of 24 authentic warriors heads to Springfield later this month, but be not afraid. Often described as the greatest Chinese kung fu show ever seen, The Shaolin Warriors will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Kuss Auditorium, Clark State Performing Arts Center, as the 2003-04 Wittenberg Series continues. Tickets are free, but this show sells out nearly everywhere, so reserve your seats early by calling the Kuss Auditorium box office at 328-3874 or the Wittenberg University Benham-Pence Student Center at 327-7443.
The Shaolin Warriors will showcase their unique style of martial arts during the two-hour performance, which has earned them multiple standing ovations and acclaim around the globe. Although the original Shaolin fighting style originated in 525 A.D., the Shaolin Warriors debuted publicly in China just four years ago. A Buddhist monk from India named Ta Mo founded the Chinese Shaolin Temple, and it was during China's violent feudal war period that the unique Shaolin kung fu method developed.
The Nov. 18 performance will follow an enchanting story line that reflects the ancient philosophy and traditions of the original Shaolin monastery. Audiences will also catch a rare glimpse of Shaolin monks' temple life, their Buddhist meditation as well as their martial arts training during the coldest and hottest times of the year.
"The audience should arrive expecting to be captivated and amazed as The Shaolin Warriors display an awe-inspiring combination of martial arts, contortion, acrobatics and incredible athletic skills," said Gwendolyn Scheffel, Series coordinator.
In present-day China, the Shaolin Temple is revered as one of the nation's most cherished institutions. The monks train with each of the temple's 18 traditional weapons, eventually choosing one to achieve mastery. Weapons displayed in the show will include cudgels, daggers, axes, whips, swords and three-section staffs. A highlight of the show will be when the monks display an absorbed mental state known as Samadhi, in which they are able to sustain extreme amounts of discomfort or pain.
The Shaolin life is an essential part of Chinese culture, and this show is designed to provide audiences with an opportunity to appreciate and understand that culture. For more information about this Freeman Foundation-sponsored performance or the Wittenberg Series, visit www.wittenberg.edu or call Scheffel at (937) 327-7918.
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