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Extra resources for Studies in Theatre & Performance (28:2 – 2008)

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Although the National 24 continues to be taught, practitioners of the traditional family styles are very much present in martial arts in China today. However, during the devastation of the Cultural Revolution and the period immediately afterwards, the traditionalists practised in almost total secrecy. Taijiquan in Taiwan and beyond In the unrest leading up to the Communist victory, many nationalist Chinese martial artists fled to Taiwan. Among them was Zheng Manqing (1900–1975) a Chinese doctor known for his calligraphy, poetry, painting and taijiquan.

Yang continues by explaining how tuishou functions in contemporary terms: Maintaining central equilibrium and effortless motor control is dependent upon a continuous flow of sensory information (visual, somatic, sensory and vestibular). Posture and movement are controlled by the brain’s motor system in two ways: 1. The nervous system monitors sensory signals and uses this information to act directly on a limb. This responsive action is called feedback. Technique in exile: The changing perception of taijiquan, from Ming dynasty .

The physical sound experience of the language of A Midsummer Night’s Dream transcends – rather as the words of nursery rhymes or the works of Lewis Carroll fix themselves in the brain on account of their sonorities – reception of the performance on purely semantic levels. The creation of variant rhythms and musical echoes and motifs in Britten’s opera opened up the potential sound world of the play in a way that had not been explored as profoundly before. Thus, just when conventional modes of production and reception are becoming stale with the accretions of cultural fashion and one-time mould-breaking interpretation, the Dream meme is reinvigorated by a mutation or adaptation, which reasserts either the play’s rich cultural tradition or its potential for variation and cultural alterity.

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