At the end of last month, our tai chi group participated in the annual Great Lakes Taiji Performance Festival in Dearborn. This festival, hosted by the Great Lakes Taiji Association, attracted both the tai chi enthusiast and tai chi curious. Groups from both Michigan and Canada performed in death-defying slowness. But the festival wasn’t just about the hand form. There were also swords, sabers, and fans. Last year, our group performed saber, so this year, we went with the sword. We also performed the Yang style 49 competition form.
Many of us had not practiced the 49 form for quite some time. (For my husband and me, it had been about four years.) And some people didn’t know the 49 form at all. But we managed to get a couple rehearsals in before the day of the performance. I practiced the form for a couple weeks on my own, hoping to have it memorized well enough not to embarrass my teacher. Other people had other concerns – some were doing their tai chi ranking test the following day, and they were just trying not to mix up the sequence of the 49 form with the 103 form, the latter of which they would have to demonstrate for the test. And still others were hoping not to wobble or fall on some of the kicks and turns that had to be executed on one foot.
As for the sword, we had been practicing the form on a weekly basis for I think most of this year, but some of us were still concerned about wobbling and falling. And of course, there was the added pressure of making sure the sword tassle didn’t wrap hopelessly around our wrists as we jabbed, chopped, and sliced away.
On performance day, no, we weren’t perfect – there was a little wobbling and a few missteps and whatnot. We did our best to be synchronized in our movements as a group. Overall, I think we did well. No one fell, and we were all relieved about that!
Here's our 49 form performance:
And here's our sword performance:
Click here to see how the other groups performed. It was great to play tai chi with everyone!