Soul Of Shaolin features temple's gongfu monks

The cast of Soul Of Shaolin: Hui Guang's Story demonstrating their gongfu skills.
The cast of Soul Of Shaolin: Hui Guang's Story demonstrating their gongfu skills.PHOTO: GIN TAY FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Known for its adrenaline-pumping kicks, thrusts and handsprings, Tony Award-nominated Broadway production Soul Of Shaolin: Hui Guang's Story will be coming to Singapore for the first time in March.

Performed by Shaolin monks from the Shaolin Temple Wushu Training Centre in Henan, China, the 80-minute theatrical performance chronicles the story of fictional Shaolin monk Hui Guang who, separated from his mother as a child during wartime, is rescued and raised by a monk from the Shaolin Temple.

Originally presented at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, the critically acclaimed production has been performed more than 500 times worldwide and was the first Chinese production to appear on Broadway.

The show offers a glimpse into the temple's 1,500-year history. Through a display of Chinese martial arts - particularly Shaolin gongfu - the production features a cast of 26 monks, who were selected based on their martial arts aptitude.

The youngest, eight-year-old Xiong Cheng Lu, who plays Hui Guang as a child, began training at the temple at the age of four.

Launching into a series of energetic back handsprings at a gongfu demonstration at Raffles City last week, he certainly held his own among the more experienced monks.

"I'm quite nervous, but very excited," he said in Mandarin. It will be his first time performing outside China.

  • BOOK IT / SOUL OF SHAOLIN: HUI GUANG'S STORY

  • WHERE: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway

    WHEN: March 10 & 11, 3 & 7.30pm

    ADMISSION: Tickets from $38 are available from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)

Veteran monk Sun Ming Chao, 34, who has been performing for the past 16 years, said it never gets boring.

"We're always performing in different countries and for different audiences, so it's always an interesting experience."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2018, with the headline 'Soul Of Shaolin comes to town'. Print Edition | Subscribe