Since the first performance in 2008, Sutra has been staged in 55 cities in 27 countries and has become an exceptionally popular show.

To develop and stage this awe-inspiring performance, the contemporary dance superstar Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui collaborated with 17 Shaolin monks he became acquainted with while studying at a temple in China.

Working with the monks, the dancer provides the audience with a unique world view that is stylish and modern while maintaining the meditative beauty of Shaolin martial arts. Neither completely dance nor martial art, the performance can be appreciated by nearly anyone.

Staged with a powerful quietude, the performers’ perfectly honed movements are utterly fascinating, and you hardly want to even blink. Leaping gracefully in and out of the coffin-like boxes, the monks easily capture—and hold—the audience’s attention. The viewer simply becomes mesmerized by the monks’ effortless movements as they practically fly through the air. Sill, it’s obvious that Sibi, a huge Bruce Lee fan, strove to create a show with a statement, something to be reflected on as well as enjoyed.

In addition to his Chinese compatriots, the Beligian Sibi enlisted the help of British artist Antony Gormley to create the boxes and the Polish composer Szymon Brzoska to score the show with string and percussion music.

Check out the entirely-too brief videos below, wherein you can catch glimpses into an altogether different world.

[ Read in Japanese ]