Sunday, 7 February 2016

Chinese New Year

Lion dance in Mâcon
I have been a bit lax in blogging the last couple of weeks as we have been very busy practising for Chinese New Year. This year for the first time ever, our Taiji group had been asked to perform during the Mâcon Chinese New Year festivities. So almost every day has been dedicated to practising at home or with our group to make sure we didn’t make complete tiddly-winks of ourselves in front of a big crowd.

Red and gold balloon released to
celebrate the New Year
T-day finally arrived this Saturday. We already suspected that the room we had to perform in wasn’t big enough for our group, so it was with some trepidation that we set off, in convoy, to Mâcon. On arrival we got to see our space. It wasn’t as small as we feared, but cramped none the less and the cable running the length of the room looked destined to trip one or other of us up.

No time to worry, we had to go and see the lion dance, watch hundreds of red and gold balloons being launched and savour the inescapable glass of wine on offer to celebrate the New Year. Not too much mind you, we still had to “do our thing”.

Red Chinese lanterns decorate the planters
After a very non-descript and not very nice lunch (I won’t be recommending this particular culinary outlet) the time arrived to set up and warm up. A quick practise showed that with a bit of a squeeze we wouldn’t end up smashing the glass walls with out sticks, so the show was on!

We had two time slots allocated; in each time slot we would do three demos. I was in all three for the first show (Cees in two) and two of the second show (Cees in only one). Cees set up the video camera and between him and another taijier, they managed to film all six performances.

Forms listed left to right, 24 Beijing, stick, fan

They went really well, no one slipped or tripped or got so muddled up that they fell over, so all that practise had paid off. I won’t bore you with all of them, but this is the video of my favourite. It is the first form I learned with this teacher and is the ,ost commonly practised form in the world - the 24 of Beijing in the yang style. And even though the stick and the fan are fun to do and are more impressive, this form has the simple elegance that taiji is all about, especially when performed by a largish group.

So a big congratulations to our taiji group La Spirale D’Or of Cluny, we did ourselves proud!

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