Friday, 26 December 2014


A prestigious and world renowned percussion group from Taiwan U-Theatre will be performing at Mood Festival in Mumbai on 27th December.This group has earned significant praise and awards in Taiwan and on international stage. This will be U-Theatre’s first show in India, and they will be showcasing Sword of Wisdom at IIT, Mumbai. 

Translated as “beating drums in a peaceful state of one’s own,” U-Theatre was founded in 1988 by Liu Ruo-Yu, who introduced novel facets of drumming, meditation, and martial arts to create a series of original works integrated with a wide range of elements drawn from music, literature, drama, dance and ritual. 

The pronunciation of the letter “U” is similar to the word meaning “excellence” in the Chinese language. In ancient China, the same word also meant “performers”. The Zen masters in China over a thousand years ago had said that a true artist must combine “Tao” (self-improvement) with “skill” (the learning and maturity of art). The U-people believe that the combination of Tao and skill is the goal of their life and artistic creation.

Ever since its inception, U-Theatre's has settled its roots deep and high up in the lush and rugged landscape of Laochuan Mountain an hour outside of Taipei. It is where each new production is created and rehearsed, and this 500-seat outdoor theatre is where the troupe debuts its annual productions.

Every morning U-Theatre drummers gather from all over Taipei at this simple and natural “cradle” to attend rehearsals and training sessions with an emphasis on meditation. At the creative headquarters atop Laochuan Hill, surrounded by the bustling metropolis of Taipei, the U-Theatre drummers devote themselves to practicing a holistic way of life originated from the Tao. Founded in 1988 with a focus on Zen in the art of drumming, U-Theatre and its practice may be best described as attaining the state of total calmness while in motion.

Today, the U-Theatre drummers maintain a strict daily training regimen that includes a full menu of martial arts, meditation, percussion practice, and Tai Chi. The comparative rigors of U-Theatre training gives troupe members levels of stamina, energy, and personal well-being unmatched by other performance troupes. As the group has matured, it has gradually melded into their performance the two themes of the search for the meaning of existence and the integration of art into life. 

Sword of Wisdom, which will be performed in India, conveys the power of solidity and tranquility, and is about the path the Brave One must take in his practice of moral teachings. He faces the unknowns of life, which result in fear, and this leads him to begin the search for wisdom. By holding on to the sword, the Brave One sees his own weakness, yet by holding on to the sword, he also finds the courage needed to confront life. 

Using the Brave One with a sword as an icon, U-Theatre selected chapters that best fit this theme from its international touring repertory of  Sound of the Ocean, Meeting with Bodhisattva, and A Touch of Zen. The most prominent feature of  Sword of Wisdom is the sounds of wooden and metal percussion that are added to the sound of drumming. Together with Gurdjieff Movements (the sacred dance), famous for its precision in movement, U-Theatre presents a higher level of drumming as an art. 

If you are in Mumbai on the 27th, then don't miss this unique performance.

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