The Flowing and Variable Art of Life: Appreciation of Health Qigong•Da Wu
Health Qigong•Da Wu has derived the essence of Chinese folk dance, learnt the Tao Yin philosophy of "dredging and guiding the Qi and blood with dance" since prehistoric times in China, based on the Chinese traditional culture and medicine culture, and ultimately formed a unique new method with functions of regulating the body, heart and breath. The method takes advantage of the body language, such as movements, postures and models of the body, and demonstrates a scroll painting of the flowing and variable art to life.
Reverence for life and pursuit of health
Health Qigong•Da Wu expresses the understanding of body, the reverence for life and the pursuit of health of Chinese people through body movements. In prehistoric society, there is hardly anything more important than the dance for our ancestors. Everything is inseparable from the dance, such as weddings and funerals, giving birth and sacrifice, as well as sowing and harvest. Especially being confined to the limitations of medical standards at that time and the health needs of maintaining life and healing the diseases, prehistoric ancestors have taken the dance as plain lifestyle and the way of perceiving the world. In the book "Lv Shi Chun Qiu•Gu Yue" chief edited by Lu Buwei, it said, "In prehistoric times, it was cloudy and damp and the waterways were blocked, people suffered arthralgia, aching muscles and other symptoms due to the stagnation of Qi, so they began to use the dance to dredge and guide the Qi and blood." In the ninth volume of "Lu Shi" written in the Song Dynasty, it also said, "In prehistoric times, the waterways were infrequent and it was stuffy and damp, people were ill as a result of stagnancy of qi and blood stasis. Therefore, the dance was used in strengthening the joints and guiding the Qi. The dance was called Da Wu. "From here we can see that Da Wu is intended to guide the circulation of Qi and blood. Wu is actually the Tao Yin exercise and Tao Yin is just the important source and original form of Health Qigong. Da Wu.
"Lv Shi Chun Qiu•Gu Yue" also recorded the dance accompanied by music of the legendary man Ge Tian, which said, "In the prehistoric dance and music of Ge Tian, three people held the ox tail, made the beats with feet and sang eight songs. The first one is named Zai Min; the second one is named Xuan Niao; the third one is named Sui Cao Mu; the forth one is named Fen Wu Gu; the fifth one is named Jing Tian Chang; the sixth one is named Da Di Gong; the seventh one is named Yi Di De; the eighth one is named Zong Niao Shou Zhi De." Judging from the words, the performance of such kind of music and dance must go through very strict and normative teaching and learning process, in order to achieve an orderly situation. Its main purpose is to beg the heaven and earth. "Shang Shu. Yi Ji" has specially recorded the course of Kui hosting a grand tribal dance, "Kui said, 'When the sounding-stone is tapped or struck with force, and the lutes are strongly swept or gently touched, to accompany the singing, The ancestors of the Di come to the service, the guests of Yu are in his place, and all the princes show their virtue in giving place to one another. In the court below the hall, there are the flutes and hand-drums, which join in at the sound of the rattle, and cease when the organ and bells take their place. This makes birds and beasts join in. When the nine parts of music have all been performed as arranged by the Di, the male and female phoenixes come and gamboling into the court.' Kui said, 'Oh! When I smite the stone, or gently strike it, the various animals lead on one another to dance, and all the chiefs of the official departments become truly harmonious’.” This passage has described the grand situation of the dance in detail. They cannot manage it without specific teaching and learning process.
These two passages have all illustrated that the dance has penetrated into the daily life of people and become an important part of life. It is precisely because the dance is closely related to the life of people, people have the chance to experience it personally, and they gradually discover that certain movements of the dance could strengthen the joints and recognize the treatment efficacy over time. People have carried out theoretical and practical summaries from these practices, so as to facilitate the formation of the Health Qigong.
The body and the spirit are interlinked in the dance.
Health Qigong. Da Wu is called the flowing and variable art of life, because the methods are designed to strengthen the body through the dance accompanied with music. As the saying goes, "Studying one's poems is not as good as hearing his sound, and hearing his sound is not as good as observing his shape." With the unique form of "three regulations", Health Qigong•Da Wu guides in the internal and external and expresses the feelings, so that the form, spirit and mind are pure, true and quiet.
"Wu Fu" has detailedly described the mental state in the dance, "Before the dance, dancers should pay their attention to the grand sight and clear up their mind, they would enter into the slight and winding narrative and lyrical process, which is just like the tightened string become relaxed." So it is in the practice of Health Qigong. Da Wu. Whether the lifting upward and rotating the wrist, or holding upward and pressing downward in the starting form all aim to keep the mind quiet and peaceful, so that practitioners can enter into the relaxed, quiet, comfortable and empty state, and prepare for the following movements.
"The dancers should spread out the broad mind, ignore the detailed rules for the body, and connect the Taiji genuine Qi without paying too much attention to the body. Take it easy and keep the mind peaceful. As long as all aspects of the forms, postures, spirits and minds regulate well and not affected by the external environment, the dancers can enter into the state of “forgetting both yourself and the external world”. "Raising Head Position" requires that "combining the tightness and loose" and "moving accompanied with breath". The essence is the "three regulation", namely "regulate body", "regulate breath" and "regulate the heart", so that the whole body is comfortable, the breath is unobstructed, as well as the form and the spirit accompany with each other.
The minds of dancers are comfortable and quiet, and their wills travels boundlessly. The dancers all imagine freely. Move gently at the start of the dance, the spirit is slightly relaxed. It is difficult to describe the images with language. The postures of dancers fit in with the beats. They advance and retreat gently and gracefully, showing the purity and clearness of the mind. In the exercise of Health Qigong•Da Wu, the practitioner must enter into the artistic conception created in the unity of mind and spirit. It stresses that "the postures are stagnant while breathing constantly" in the exercise of Health Qigong. Da Wu. A visual art artistic conception is created through imitating animal forms and life circumstances, which can be described as "reading beyond the lines". It is magnificent, such as clapping hands and guiding the body intended for thousands of miles away; it is cultured, such as putting hands together and bowing the head in a calm state. It is flying gently like crane and it is solid and powerful. The beauty of artistic conception created by Health Qigong•Da Wu is fascinating and becomes a kind of expression full of oriental arts. There seems to be not too much difficulty in the movements of Health Qigong. Da Wu. After penetrating into the exercise, it is worthwhile to ruminate over the high coordination of the movements, the reflection of skills, the cooperation of spirit and mind, as well as its culture. So the practitioners need to ponder and understand the ideas endlessly.
"The postures of the dancers are really wonderful to the extreme, and also show their plain and pure minds. Their appearances can express the pure inner sentiments and their minds are just like wandering in the remote space. All the audiences commend them for their fantastic dances and the musicians also acknowledge the superiority of the dancers." The minds of the dancers are free, and they perform in a lifelike way. Breath like floating clouds and the will is as noble and pure as the autumn frost. Health Qigong•Da Wu not only expresses the life by direct means of artistic expression, but also pay attention to the cultivation of humanity. The function of the Chinese culture is not to increase the knowledge, but to focus on the improvement of the mind. The introversion of Health Qigong•Da Wu has manifested the cultural mentality of the Chinese nation, i.e. emphasis on the internal, intention, harmony and insights. The practice of Health Qigong•Da Wu needs to experience it personally and realize its deep connotation, wonderful skills and beautiful artistic conception, which can be taken as a way of life cultivation.
Qi and spirit are compatible and symbiotic with rhythm.
There is a natural connection among Health Qigong. Da Wu and other dance arts, their similarity is to take the trunk and limbs of the body as a tool, the rhythmic movements, postures and modeling are constituted through the coordinated activities of head, eyes, neck, hands, wrists, elbows, arms, shoulders, body, hips, knees, feet and other parts. Therefore, the methods of this routine and other dance arts share the same origin and trend different paths, which are co-existence and common prosperity; at the same time, from their point of view, the dynamic and the relationship of reflection of life, they can be divided into two major categories, i.e. concreteness movements and abstract movements.
Concreteness movements are derived from specific human life and production practices, such as the ideographic pantomime movements in ballet; milking and farming in the folk dance; the practice, the march and battle, etc. in real life. There are also many figurative nature movements in Health Qigong. Da Wu, such as the Bird-flying Position. Whether the dance or Health Qigong. Da Wu, their movements mostly have specific ideographic characters.
Abstract movements are derived from the need to express human feelings and emotions, which can be abstracted from the human emotions directly or extracted from the shape variation of plants and animals, such as jumping, circling, rolling, jumping and other movements. There are also many abstract movements in the Health Qigong. Da Wu. For example, through turning the coccyx, the Swinging Buttocks Position shows the importance of kidney Qi to the human body, as well as pays attention to the pelvic cavity in which the essence is cultivated.
Modelling is one way of expression in the dance. It appears among the flowing dance movements or at the end of the dance combination, which is also called the static state in dynamic state and the static appearances. The presence and variation of the dance modellings demonstrate the esthetical law of showing the static state in dynamic state and the static and dynamic contrasting orderly. The fixed postures in Health Qigong. Da Wu also play the utility of dancing modelling. The use of eyes and the fixed postures are often applied together. If the "eyes moving along with the hands" means moving, "eyes moving along with the postures" means being stagnant. Moving and pause should meet the standard, and then the movements are regular and powerful. In the exercise course, both eyes and postures all standstill in the fixed postures. The fixed postures require the lustrous eyes and being dynamic in the static, showing the artistic conception that "the postures are stagnant while breathing constantly". For example, in the "Malaxating Back Position", both palms swing from top down, the arm movements discontinue, but the expressions in the eyes when turning the head down still create a ready scene with momentum. In the "Rubbing Costal Region Position", the waved depending on when you want to stop for the moment before, to and arm, withdrawal step movement coordinate better, if movement, look no pause, like a song without turning, ups and downs, but lost in the flat. The fixed postures run through the entire methods. Each movement is made up of moving and pause, which requires us to try to express the different movement artistic conception and appreciate the different strength conversion in the exercise.
The static modelings in the flowing dance movements express the clear form of beauty in the movement course; the standstill appearance modellings not only concentratedly express the internal feelings, but also play a role of linking up among the dance combinations. The modeling in the Health Qigong•Da Wu - the fixed posture is not simply a kind of beautiful dynamic, but a kind of charming fusion with the unity of form and spirit, which is the unique flavor and style of Health Qigong. Da Wu.
The gesture is the indispensable mean of expression in the dance. A gesture in the life can often directly explain a simple meaning, such as the natural stretching gestures that mean "sit down", "this way, please" or "come here". Gesture plays the role of language in everyday life, and the proper use of gestures are also inseparable in Health Qigong. The gestures in Health Qigong•Da Wu includes the coordination and movements of fingers, hands, wrists and arms. They not only embody the inherent meanings, but also demonstrate the strong ethnic characteristics, such as circling the wrist, wrist flex, putting hands together, clenching the hands, etc.
Dance expressions are reflected by all movements of the dance, including the dynamic state of heart and body. They express the inner feelings in a unity by the appearances of face and the movements of arms, body and feet. Similarly, Health Qigong•Da Wu also stresses the expression. Above all, exercisers should pay attention to the use of the eyes in the practice of Health Qigong. Da Wu, the spirit and charm of the whole routine are concentratedly reflected in the eyes. It is not merely the movements of the eyes, but the inner feelings expressed through the eyes. It can generally be summed up as three movement laws and presentation methods, i.e. "eyes moving along with the hands", "eyes moving along with the postures" and "expressing the feelings with eyes". Secondly, the use of the arms and hands should be coordinated and beautiful, as well as meet the standards. The movements of the body and feet should also conform to the athletic aesthetic characteristics of the human body.
Dance expressions are not only reflected by one dynamic part. Without the coordination of other parts of the body, only hand movements are difficult to express the rich inner feelings properly. If every part cannot coordinate with each other well, which may lead to the distortion and loose of the external forms, as well as destroy the dynamic beauty of the dance. Similarly, Health Qigong•Da Wu also accurately reflects the beautiful verve through the emotional dynamic and skilled movements. As Mei Lanfang said, "To attract the audience and make them cheer for us, we should perfectly do every tiny movement, sing every word and express the feelings in the eyes. Let the audience feel beautiful and experience the contents in the beautiful images. We should especially pay attention to the movements in the dance, which should be beautiful and expressive in every aspect and various angles. "
In summary, "once the feeling in the heart is touched, it will certainly be expressed in words; if the words are insufficient, just sigh with feelings; if the sighs are insufficient, just chant the songs; if the chants are insufficient, then dance with the movements of feet and hands." Taking the human body as the tool, the dances demonstrate the images with movements and modelling, or express the mind directly, reaching the unity of the heart and the means of expression. Health Qigong•Da Wu also takes the human body as the tool, combines the inner and outer, form and intention, mind and spirit, the dynamic and the static together organically, and builds up a world of images. Therefore, Health Qigong•Da Wu and the dance art may tread different paths, but lead to the same destination. Conducting a study on their relationship will help us to explore the aesthetic characteristics and rich connotation of Health Qigong.