I was watching the ravishing “House of Flying Daggers” for the second time the other day, and was again struck by how utterly beautiful Chinese martial arts can be. I find them far more compelling as ‘dance’ than I have ever found ballet, for example – and it does seem to me that martial arts plays the same role in China (perhaps less so in Japan) as ballet does in Europe… I studied T’ai Chi (that is the yin, or ‘soft’, side of Kung Fu) for years and so am aware of how profoundly aesthetics informs that martial practice. In T’ai Chi, aesthetics and function are inextricably intertwined… I know this relationship is there in many aspects of Chinese culture. I suspect all of this says something significant about how Chinese culture differs from that of Europe.
On a lighter note, it amuses me to consider how the Chinese have managed to turn ‘dancing’ into a form of warfare *grin*