Yi Jian Mei verse 2

Yi Jian Mei (One Plum Blossom) is the title of a drama set in pre-revolutionary China.  Apparently there is more than one version and production—a 1931 movie? A Taiwanese TV show in the 1980s, apparently. A TV show popular in China in 2010? And the popular theme song was composed when? I would have to be able to read Chinese to get to the bottom of it.

520px-Xin_Yi_Jian_Mei

I have been reading the Inspector Chen novels set in post-Tiananmen Shanghai. Qiu Xiaolong describes a nostalgia among the new generation for the glory days of Shanghai in the 1930s. I’ve just started his internationally best-selling book of short stories spanning the decades between those days and the present. His next Chen mystery, Shanghai Redemption, is coming soon. Nice covers! Macmillan/Minotaur.

yearsofred

redemption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, I’m learning the Tai Chi sword form to the popular theme song, currently working on the sequence of movements for the first two verses (4 lines each) using a video by Meng Fok. I had gotten as far as the middle of the second verse. To recap, Verse 1:

  1. Zhen qing xiang cao yuan guang huo [Circle arms, lift knee, point toe]
  2. Ceng ceng feng yu bu neng zu ge [Step L, R, point left and du li da hu]
  3. Zong you yun kai ri chu shi hou [Point to left, lift right knee]
  4. Wan zhan yang guang zhao yao ni wo [Walk in circle, switch to palm-up]
pose at end of line 1 verse 2

End of line 1, verse 2

Second verse:

  1. Zhen qing xiang mei huo kai guo [Step back L, R, pose as shown above]
  2. Leng leng bing xue Bu neng yan me [Take sword, R, L, pivot, step L, stab up]
  3. Jiu zai zui leng zhi tou zhan fang [Now see below]
  4. Kan jian chun tian zou xiang ni wo

Line three: I have to break this line into two phrases. Jiu zai zui leng: She swings the sword in a big counterclockwise circle on the left of her body while stepping up with the right foot. Then she closes with the left foot in a sort of bing bu dian jian, except her legs are straight and her left hand is in a high ward-off position:

End of line 3, verse 2

First phrase of line 3, verse 2

Line 3, second phrase, zhi tou zhan fang: She circles the sword as if to do you gong bu lan, but follows through to reach the pose below in a sort of du li ping ci:

End of line 3, verse 2

End of line 3, verse 2

The last line is hard! Kan jian chun tian zou xiang ni wo: 8 words for 8 counts. First four counts: She turns to her right and steps R-L-R-L, turning around. The last step left is a cross-step behind. The sword is just following her, but she switches from palm up to palm down as she turns. This is right about at the one-minute mark of the video (1:00-1:02). She’s here:

Middle of line 4, verse 2

Middle of line 4, verse 2

Now she unwinds all the way around so she is in cross stance with the right foot behind as shown below. That’s pivot on L toe, pivot on R heel, pivot on L heel, pivot on R toe. The sword traces one big circle overhead with a small circle in the middle, changing from palm down to palm-up. Finish like this:

plumline8

Verse two ends at 1:06. A little more than two minutes remain, but I think maybe the repeated part (verse 3 and the 2 lines after it) repeats in movement as well. That would be cool.

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