The visiting Shaolin Kung Fu troupe from Central China left hundreds of spectators in awe during their concluding performance at the City Centre last night.
“I’ve been a fan of martial arts movies since childhood and this is the first time I’m seeing it live so I’m excited,” said a member of the audience, who together with other viewers were all ready with their cameras to take pictures of the troupe as they showed off their fighting skill.
Wearing fiery yellow attires and sporting skinhead, the 13-member troupe executed well-choreographed martial arts routines showcasing their adeptness not only in the fluid movements of their hands and legs but in handling various weapons.
The cast’s diminutive appearance and tender age coupled with their enormous strength and agility were an added factor to the audience’s outward appreciation of the group, in fact, a considerable number of audience flocked to take pictures of and with the group after the show.
Each kick, punch, thrust and somersault which showed skill cultivated through constant practice mesmerized the audience through the 45-minute show. One of the highlights of the young monks’ acts is their routine mimicking animal movements such as of snake, tiger and monkey – a style which gathered inspiration from ancient Chinese philosophies. Equally entertaining was their routine reminiscent of Jacky Chan’s classic martial arts film ‘Drunken Master’.
“It’s like watching a movie live,” commented one of the viewers.
But their final act was the most spellbinding part of the show wherein a member of the group was suspended on air using spears.
“It’s been a wonderful experience having been invited to perform here,” said Shan Liang, coordinator of the group.
“This is their first time in Doha and their second time in the Middle East since they have performed in Sharjah last year,” said Jean-Paul Mailhac, project manager for Middle East, who said the group is going to fly to Abu Dhabi for another stint.
The young Shaolin monks are learning not only the art of fighting but also Chinese philosophy, Mailhac said.
An exhibition was also put up for the visitors to better understand and appreciate the show. It showcased posters and background information about the Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, Central China and the principles of Shaolin Kung Fu which is mainly for self-defense and enhancing the power of body and mind.
Sticks, knives, swords, spears, blades and other weapons used in fighting were also displayed in the exhibition.
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