Wushu Fusion Show

The team from SJK (C) Foon Yew 1 performed in
eye-catching costumes
Billed as the biggest wushu event of the year, “Wushu Fusion” lived up to its size with 1300 people in the audience who watched 10 wushu performing groups of 400 junior wushu artistes.  When the doors to the auditorium of SJK(C) Foon Yew 5 were opened, the audience was ushered to their seats to enjoy 90 minutes of non-stop martial arts and contemporary dance, choreographed in interesting scenarios.  Using minimal props, clever lighting, special soundtracks and expressive choreography, every performance told its tale without any dialogue.

The audience waiting to enter the hall for an evening of
Wushu Fusion
“Wushu Fusion” was organized by Lee Wushu Arts Theatre and Lee Wushu Arts Workshop in collaboration with the Johor State Department of Education and the Wushu Federation of Johor and performed on Sept 29.  The evening’s showcase included teams from primary schools like SJK (C) Foon Yew 1, Foon Yew 4, Foon Yew 5, SJK (C) Kempas, SJK (C) Tampoi, SJK (C) Pei Hwa, and Apprentice Team 1 and Team 2 of Lee Wushu Arts Theatre as well as the class from Lee Wushu Arts Workshop.  A guest appearance by young silat exponents, Free Run JB, who gave an impressive and energetic martial arts performance, reflected the true spirit of “Wushu Fusion.”

Members of one of the Lee Wushu Art Theatre's
apprentice team frozen in a tableau
“The experience from this performance will help to transform them into real wushu artistes,” said Lee Swee Seng, Artistic Director and Choreographer of Lee Wushu Arts Theatre, about the junior wushu artistes, adding that many of them were performing to a public audience for the very first time. 

In recent years, Lee Wushu has established a reputation, both locally and abroad, for presenting brilliant shows of artistry in a creative blend of wushu martial arts with modern dance.  His confidence in the youngsters proved right when they impressed the audience with performances in a mix of martial arts with drama, dance and even comedy.

A comical scene from the performance by
SJK (C) Foon Yew 5
In 1998 Lee founded Lee Wushu Arts Theatre to promote wushu cultural activities and to preserve the tradition of this martial art.  Since 2001, Lee has presented the visual and physical aesthetics of wushu in several shows like Wushu and Dance, Wushu and Dance United and The King’s Sword.  For the 7th Johor Baru Arts Festival in 2010, Lee directed a powerful drama entitled, “Farewell, My Concubine: The Movement of the Martyr” and “Wushu Madness,” a dance drama in contemporary dance mixed with wushu martial arts that portrayed the insanity of our daily rat race, for the 8th JB Arts Fest in 2011. 

The finale was a spectacular performance by members of
the Lee Wushu Arts Theatre Team

Lee Wushu has since garnered wide experience through highly acclaimed performances at the Georgetown Arts Festival in Penang and the International Youth Arts Festival in London.  Lee however, is deeply committed to cultivating interest and commitment to the art among young people.  In 2002, 2004 and 2006, Lee Wushu jointly organised Wushu Camps in cooperation with Sin Chew Jit Poh, Nanyang Siang Pau and the Johor Wushu Association respectively, to generate greater interest in wushu among the participants.

Artistic Director Lee Swee Seng [3rd from Left] and choreographers
[fromLeft] Cheong Kee Qing, Wong Wen Hao, Ter Wei Lun,
Ter Chen Fong and Kok Wai Chun, taking a bow with the
performers at the close of the show
The presentation of “Wushu Fusion” was another avenue that Lee used to cultivate fresh talent in his unique style of wushu performing arts.  The performances kicked off with more experienced wushu artistes from the Lee Wushu Arts Theatre Apprentices Teams followed by a programme of performances by school teams and guest artistes before closing with artistes from the Lee Wushu Arts Theatre Team. 

Every performance demanded a deep commitment for training and discipline and Lee was determined to help these youths develop a deeper passion for wushu as a performing art and become a catalyst in elevating and preserving this culture heritage in Johor Baru.  From the keen response on the part of the performers and the support from the audience, Lee believes that the seeds that were planted will eventually reap a harvest.  For more info on Lee Wushu Arts Theatre, visit website: www.wushuart.com

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Johor Streets on 22 October 2012

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