An art form that heals and entertains

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 08:00 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) Artistes from India and South Korea Wednesday combined martial arts forms with traditional dance techniques to showcase a unique art form that was both entertaining and healing, on the sidelines of a three-day international seminar in the capital.

Organised by the India International Centre (IIC) as part of the Asia Project, the 'International Seminar on Mind and Body in Health and Harmony in Asian Systems of Medicine' began in the capital Tuesday to create awareness about Asia's rich cultural heritage.

Among the art forms showcased were Zen dance and Son Mudo from South Korea and Thangta, the martial arts form of Manipur.

"I developed this art form (Zen dance) in New York in 1972. I combined meditation and dance and created a dance meditation technique," Sun Ock Lee, who performed with partner Won Il Lee at the IIC auditorium, told IANS.

According to Sun Ock Lee, the goal of both martial arts as well as meditation is to bring the mind and the body together and to free life from suffering.

"But before you can achieve that stage through this technique (Zen dance), you can increase your concentration, creativity and reduce stress level," she said.

On Son Mudo, Sun Ock Lee said: "This art form was created by my teacher 85 years ago. It is all about harnessing the power of the mind and making the body follow the mind. It is artistically very creative."

"This art form uses the Yin and Yang principle of Chinese, Korean and Japanese philosophy. A lot of opposites are used in it," she added.

While Zen Dance and Son Mudo were popularised by Sun Ock Lee in Europe and America, she has been working for the last few years to popularise it across Asia, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.

The artiste also displayed Buddhist 'mudras' (hand and wrist movements). "They are based on Tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism which was brought to Korea in the 4th Century. There is a distinct difference between Buddhist mudras and the Hindu mudras of India, which usually tell the story of Shiva."

Zen Dance and Son Mudo from South Korea, according to Sun Ock Lee, also have powers of healing incurable diseases.

"Dance can be a great tool. I work with patients suffering from paralysis and womb cancer to help them heal themselves. For instance, those with womb cancer usually lose the function of their pelvic muscles. I help them to regain it back," Sun Ock Lee said.

And is it necessary to be a practitioner of Buddhism to master Zen dance and Son Mudo? "Not at all. You must just be willing to learn."

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