—Hong Kong Art Festival

The Story

SOUL OF SHAOLIN takes place during wartime in Chinese history. Hui Guang, a child who was separated from his mother, was found by a Kung Fu monk from Shaolin Temple and brought back to the temple. As Hui Guang grows up under the care of the monks, he is instructed in the unique ways Shaolin Kung Fu and the daily practicing of Kung Fu skills. The play brings action (practicing of Kung Fu), inaction (Buddhist meditation), and touching events into an organic whole. By presenting the fist technique, the tempering of the internal organs of the body, and the wrestling skills and tricks of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu, the play brings out the spiritual essence underlining them. The story ends with the happy reunion between Hui Guang and his mother.

As a brand new form of artistic work, the play SOUL OF SHAOLIN adds to the aesthetic and appreciative beauty of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu.

Description of the scenes:

Scene I Saving Orphan

The flames of war were raging everywhere, plunging people into utter misery and sufferings. Miao Xing, head of Shaolin Temple, led his men to get rid of bullies and bring peace to good people. During her flight from the war, a woman fell into the hands of gangsters and fought against them. She hid her baby in the grass and jumped down a cliff. Na Luo, a one-arm Kung Fu monk from Shaolin Temple, saved the baby and found in his swaddles a broken piece of jade identifying his origin.

Scene II Learning of Skills

Time flew. The baby grew up under the care of the monks. He was given the Buddhist name Hui Guang and began to learn Kung Fu from Na Luo. Having grown up and become a great Kung Fu master, Miao Xing, the head of the temple, decided to return the identification jade to Hui Guang and tell him his origin.

Scene III Kung Fu Skills

The monks sweated under a burning sun, practicing Kung Fu. They demonstrate Kung Fu skills everywhere in their daily life. One monk gets drunken and begins to make trouble. Hui Guang tries to stop him but fails. They come to fight. The drunken monk loses and falls onto the ground. Blame comes from the temple head and Na Luo. Feeling wronged, Hui Guang refuses to acknowledge the corn. He is told to repent and reflect on the true spirit underlining Shaolin Kung Fu.

Scene IV Encounter

It is in a busy street. Looking for her son, Hui Guang’s mother now makes a living as an art performer and now begs. Some hooligans come and molest her. She fights against hopeless odds and is cornered. Passing by, Hui Guang comes to her help. His identification jade falls onto the ground, and chances to be picked up by his mother. With mixed feelings, she tries to find owner of the jade.

Scene V Looking for Her Son

The monks are practicing Kung Fu under the moonlight. Covering up her face, Hui Guang’s mother sneaks into the Tablet Forest of Shaolin Temple. On his way back to the temple, Hui Guang sees a black shadow moving about in the Tablet Forest. He captures her. The temple head and Na Luo come and interrogate her. Everything becomes clear. The reunion brings mixed feelings of joy and sorrow to both the mother and the son. The mother asks to take Hui Guang with her. The temple head refuses her request. Even if he is to leave the temple, he must fights his way out, as the temple rules require, he tells her.

Scene XI Home Return

Hui Guang fights his way out of the temple. Na Luo is the last on the way. During their fight, mercy reigns on Na Luo’s part. He gives way so Hui Guang can return to his mother. A happy reunion comes. Extremely grateful, the mother and the son bid farewell to Shaolin, tears in their eyes, demonstrating Kung Fu’s emphasis on strength and virtue.