I went to see Amaluna, the Cirque du Soleil show which just ended its run in Marymoor Park. Amaluna is based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and has themes of light vs dark, good vs evil, and innocence turning to knowledge.
Like all Cirque du Soleil shows, Amaluna was a fantastic experience with great dancing, acrobatics, music, and art. However, one of the most powerful parts of the show was a very quiet but powerful scene in which a performer created a rotating fan with a 6-10 foot radius, picking up each of the long objects with her feet.
It was an amazing experience from a kendo or martial arts perspective because of the sheer concentration and physical balance that was required by the performer in order to pick up each part, balance it, and then continue until it was completed. Additionally, there was a performer sitting in the formal position, known as seiza in Japanese, off to the side. She was a gymnastic dancer and her poise when sitting was as compelling as the performer she was watching, with perfect form and radiating strength and stillness.
This impacted me and has become a useful benchmark for me as I train and judge my progression in all aspects of my kendo training.