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Taiwan's U Theatre offers visual feast

U Theatre from Taiwan will stage their latest production "Meeting with Vajrasattva" at 8.15pm this Friday and Saturday (November 5 and 6) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre, bringing audiences an awe-inspiring visual feast made up of drumming, martial arts, dance and chanting.

"Meeting with Vajrasattva" is one of the programmes of the "New Vision Arts Festival" organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It is a perfect piece of physical theatre with well-choreographed body movements and a precise sense of rhythm.

Inspired by Vajrasattva, the god of wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism, U Theatre's artistic director Liu Ruo-yu and drumming master Huang Chih-chun, after years of practising tai chi, martial arts, drumming and meditation, created this new work which is about the journey into unknown territory of a man who faces his fear - a journey from questioning everything to accepting everything.

"Meeting with Vajrasattva" won the Performance Award of Taiwan's 1st Taishin Arts Award last year. The New York Times also said "there is a great and complex beauty to the drumming, sounds and silence and simple beats and intricate meshes of precisely articulated rhythms ...The concentration and focus of the swaying, bounding performers is impressive, as is the purity of their material at the start".

Members of U Theatre, which was founded in 1988, choose to lead a life of seclusion in the mountains, practising martial arts and drums, and most important of all, meditation, to find and achieve tranquility and self-awareness. It is this internal peace they wish to pass on and share with the audience.

U Theatre's last piece "The Sound of Ocean", which was acclaimed as "the best performance of the Festival d'Avignon (of France)", represented a milestone in their efforts to achieve both strict body discipline and total freedom of the mind. They pick up where "The Sound of Ocean" left off, taking the audience on another journey of enlightenment and self-realisation in their search for Vajrasattva.

After the November 5 performance, U theatre will host a meet-the-artist session. They will also perform excerpts of "Meeting with Vajrasattva" and "The Sound of Ocean" on November 7 at 3pm at the Victoria Park Central Lawn. Admission is free.

Tickets for the programme "Meeting with Vajrasattva" priced at $100, $160, $220 and $300 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Group booking discounts are up to 20% off.

For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044.

Ends/Monday, November 1, 2004
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