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Home > Destinations > Municipality> Beijing > Legend of Kung Fu - Chun Yi

Legend of Kung Fu - Chun Yi

About the Show

This famous Chinese Kong Fu show was developed at the Beijing Red Theater by China Heaven Creation, one of China's leading performing arts producers. It was previewed from July to December 2004. The world premiere of the finished work took place on December 3, 2004. It wins great kudos from audiences, critics and international presenters.

In 2006, the program engaged Broadway veteran and New York director Ray Roderick who came to Beijing to redevelop the script and direction making Chun Yi even more emotionally engaging and undeniably universal. Through the interweaving of new dialogue, in the language appropriate to any audience, Ray Roderick's culturally sensitive direction enhances the genius of Chun Yi's original Chinese creators, elevating the breath-taking on-stage artistry while opening a window into the remarkable culture of China, and the mystical art of Kung Fu.

Many parts of the show are almost dreamlike in appearance, from the flying fairy created in Chun Yi's mind to the fire and brimstone of the blacksmiths workshop, where the tools and armor are created. The ceiling of the theatre lights up like the night sky with twinkling stars with the little monk looking on in wonder and amazement at the spectacle set out before the audiences. The Legend Of Kung Fu

The main innovation in this show has to be the fusing of the different elements of performance art. The modern dancers have welded elements of Kung Fu into their performance and the Kung Fu performers have adopted some of the modern dance moves creating a whole that is seamless. Sometimes it's hard to see where one ends and the other begins.

The staging of this show is a fantastic achievement and considering that the whole production was put together in just 35 days, but the quality is amazing. This show leads where others only follow and sets a new benchmark for creativity. If you want falling down sets, hard to hear sound systems, and night vision goggles to see what's going on, then don't go to this show. Expect a full-blown western style extravaganza, cutting edge staging and traditional Chinese artistry. The Legend of Kung Fu pushes back the boundaries of performance art to create a new and visually stunning entertainment experience that takes Beijing into a new era of modern theatrical performance.

Address: No.44, Red Theater, Xingfu Street, Chongwen District, Beijing

Bus Routes: 716、320、323、355、365、300、8、12、23

Ticket Prices: RMB 180yuan/280yuan/380yuan/680yuan

Show Time: 19:30—20:55 (every night)

About the Story of Chun Yi

The show focuses on a young boy found wondering outside an ancient temple somewhere in China, who dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master. As with all stories, things don't go exactly according to plan. After being taken into the temple by his mother, the master begins the boy's apprenticeship, giving him the name "Chun Yi", the Pure One. As he grows and develops, he learns the physical skills of Kung Fu. He also learns that he must withstand temptations and distractions along the way, and throughout his life, in order to maintain his discipline and Kung Fu focus. Chun Yi meets the challenges, falls for and overcomes temptation, and finally attains the honor of being named Master, becoming a wise teacher for the next generations.

Artists

China Heaven Creation, the company of 65 features a cast of young Kung Fu practitioners, dancers, and acrobats, all of them professional performers from 13 provinces of China, including 5 boys under the age of 14, already well-advanced in their training, and clearly thrilled with their early chosen profession. The performers are not only skilled in Kung Fu martial arts, but are also trained in theatrical presentation. The dancers and acrobats add new dimensions to the exploration of the movements and discipline of Kung Fu.

Director and Playwright of the Legend of Kung Fu, Su Shijin has interwoven emotion and action by skillfully combining traditional martial arts movement with evocative dance, ballet and flying acrobatics. Scriptwriter Gao Liting has captured the inspiring story of a young boy seeking enlightenment. The powerful music by Zheng Bing underscores the entire production, and includes a haunting theme song, The Lotus Blossoms Silently. Set designer Han Lixun has created a vast and interactive environment enhanced by the dramatic lighting effects of Wang Ruiguo. The myriad costumes, by designer Song Li, enhance the movement and the magic.The Legend Of Kung Fu

Some Reviews on the Show

Brilliant performance! I love the creative art form of presenting Kung Fu with a story. I enjoyed it very much. From the response of the audience, everybody enjoyed the show and appreciated the effort of presenting an ancient art form in an innovative way."

Dr. Joseph Y.K. Wong,

Order of Canada, Chair, Yee Hong Centre For Geriatric Care


"We took our University aged kids to see the show and we all enjoyed Chun Yi: The Legend of Kung Fu tremendously. We were impressed by the high caliber performance. Throughout the show, there was not a single dull moment. Very colorful and highly entertaining! I was touched by the emotions, songs and the dance as the mother leaves behind her child in the beginning. The struggles he faces as he matures remind us of our own struggles we've experienced through life. Overall, it is a must see performance! Truly a special gift to us all the way from Beijing!

Ki Kit Li,

CEO, Ki Kit Li Rehabilitation Centre, Queen's Golden Jubilee Award Winner)


"Stunning acrobatically, theatrically, and artistically!"

Sai Leung,

Principal of Award Winning Interior Design Firm, Munge/Leung Design Associates


"Chun Yi: The Legend of Kung Fu is a fantastic show. It's professionally produced and truly an "edge of your seat " kind of entertainment!"

Allen Leung,

Veteran Journalist


"A creative and positive representation of Chinese Wushu (Martial Arts) packaged in an entertaining and visually astounding theatrical".

Alan Tang,

Canadian National Wushu Team Coach


"Simply perfect! I have no hesitations recommending this show to anyone! Chun Yi: The Legend of Kung Fu is one of the most spectacular shows in recent years. The hard work and enormous amount of training for the show is clearly reflected in the performances of all the cast.

Helen Lu

(Order of Ontario)


Chun Yi: The Legend of Kung Fu is a riveting and poetic portrayal of one of the Chinese culture's most fascinating art forms. A magnificent combination of music, dance and martial arts telling a tale of a boy's challenges and triumphs through his various stages of life. It will forever change your understanding and appreciation of this ancient martial art form. This is the closest some of us will ever get to witnessing what real kung fu is in our lifetime. Chun Yi is a grand theatrical production for the ages that can be appreciated by audiences from anywhere in the world!

Jeff Leung,

Publisher, Asianwave Magazine


choreography of this cast of 65 includes a smorgasbord of acrobatics and martial arts that is fierce and imaginative, with moments as precise and certain as a volley of bullets."

Michael Harris

The Globe and Mail, Vancouver, January 6, 2006


"The most effective sequences feature super-intense bursts of fast and furious muscular movement by performers who attain remarkable hang-time with their leaps before making extraordinarily soft landings, genuinely challenging gravity if not defying it.

Some of the show's indelible images for me: young boys doing back flips onto the tops of their heads (ouch!), then flipping back onto their feet without using their hands; a series of super-fast martial moves ending with the performer flipping perfectly into the lotus position; a gorgeous sequence with Chun Yi in torment, hanging upside down, while a temptress dances beneath him, a monk flagellates himself high above him, and other monks do amazing acrobatic things in the harsh red light of what looks like kung-fu hell."

Jerry Wasserman

The Province, January 6, 2006


"...This beautifully designed and tightly-choreographed 65-member production is about one thing only: breathtaking acrobatics. Dancers leap through the air kicking and punching with electrifying grace during fantastic fight sequences, while impossibly young performers do hand-springs across the stage with no hands, and others use their hands and heads to shatter wooden planks and metal bars."

Grame McRanor

24 HOURS, January 6, 2006


I would say that this is one of the best shows I have ever seen anywhere, including the West End and Broadway.

The design is stunning, with one gorgeous idea after another. The flying is breath-taking and the lighting is very effective. Congratulations on an unforgettable evening!"

Ian Trafford

Stage by Stage, London


"These performers are, without exception, skilled beyond anything I have ever seen in my long career in theatre: -- the acrobats and their display of talents being nothing short of sensational...their focus and daring of a superb and international calibre; the music new and fitting; the staging consistently original; and the narrative insightful. Their performances are a knockout."

Brian Macdonald, CC., B.A., F.B.C.

Choreographer, Canada


"Chun Yi: The Legend of Kung Fu is a perfect mixture of sports and art. You can feel enriched by Chinese civilization as well as experience outstanding Chinese kung fu from this performance."

Jiang Xiaoyu, Vice President, Beijing Organization

Committee for the Games of XXIX Olympiad

Director of Media and Communications Department

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