Martial arts and dance combine for an innovative and challenging critique of violence in the modern world in Glory.

Glory finds beauty in turbulence through martial arts and dance

Dance, theatre, and martial arts will come together for a unique show at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on April 4.

Dance, theatre, and martial arts will come together for a unique show at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on April 4.

Glory addresses themes of modern perceptions of violence in an exciting and engaging manner by contrasting the intensity of martial arts with the elegance and emotion of dance.

The show examines our culture’s over-saturation of violence and passivity in viewing it by incorporating first-person video and sound, pairing somber imagery with stunning movement. It beautifully combines two timeless practices: martial arts and dance.

Glory is produced by Shay Kuebler Radical System Arts Society, and it’s the sixth production the society has produced, all of which combine martial arts, theatre, and dance.

The incorporation of martial arts adds a heightened level of physical demand, and although most of Kuebler’s productions use both dance and martial arts, the theme of violence makes it that much more intense.

“People have been actually concerned for my safety, so that’s good,” says creator and performer Shay Kuebler. “That’s why research is so important. We start with one guy, then two, then add more, and it gets risky.”

Glory is a critique of how consumers view violence. Not only does the show address how the portrayal of violence has evolved over time in the media, but it challenges viewers to think about whether or not they glorify violence.

“With Nintendo, you jumped on an enemy and it died,” Kuebler said. “Now kids are playing war games and throwing grenades.”

Despite their violent reputation, Kuebler found the humility of martial arts the perfect medium through which to tell his story.

“Martial arts are beautiful, because people in martial arts are not violent people,” he said. “You get your ass kicked on a daily basis, so you’re humble. It gives you confidence: you don’t want to prove yourself.”

If nothing else, Kuebler hopes that Glory will inspire people to reevaluate their conceptions surrounding violence.

“I want to make accessible work that can also be artistic and take people on an unexpected journey,” he said. “I want to draw people that don’t necessarily go to theatre. That’s critical to me.”

Glory is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on April 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $30 for adults, $27 for seniors, $25 for youth, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).

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