W Squared entertainment’s high-flying re-imagining of the story of Ip Man draws from over 45 years of Kung Fu history. It will debut in Singapore during the 4th quarter of 2014.
At the media conference: A musician entertained us with the Sanxian (Chinese: 三弦, literally “three strings“) which is a Chinese lute. The Sanxian has a dry, somewhat percussive tone and loud volume similar to the banjo and is closely related to the Hapanese Shamisen.
Ip Man: The Man
Ip Man is Chan Wah Sum’s Last Student. Also trained by his Sons & Students. First to publicly teach the art of Wing Chun in 1950 after moving to Hong Kong, he’s also the famed teacher of Bruce Lee. Ip Man (Yip Man) is a Legend of Kung Fu. No less then 3 Movies have been made about his life in this decade alone. Being Bruce Lee’s only formal teacher, no Bruce Lee Biography can be complete without a section dedicated to Grandmaster Ip Man.
Wing Chun Kuen is a Southern Style of Chinese Kung Fu. The most authentic translation is the Eternal Springtime Fist. It is a testament to the Fallen Ming Dynasty. Which the Han people hoped would last an Eternal Springtime – It is also a sign of there Hope for the Future.
Wing Chun Kuen was designed during the period of rebellion after the fall of the Ming Dynasty to be used to regain the throne of China. Secretly built within the walls of the Shaolin Temple, the style of Wing Chun is a culmination of the best of Shaolin Kung Fu.
Designed specifically to defeat other trained Martial Artists on the Battlefield. The Style was passed on in secret for approximately 250 years. Until it was later modified for the back alleys and limited space of Hong Kong and first taught publicly by Grand Master Ip Kai Man.
Best known for its devastating close range hand techniques. Wing Chun Kuen uses a unique and sophisticated set of principals, strategies and training practices to help students quickly learn and use the art. Wing Chun emphasizes simple and efficient techniques over fancy flowery moves.
The musical will feature Japanese musician Kawai Kenji, composer for the movie Ip Man and a music veteran with a score of anime and commericial sound tracks under his belt, alongside Briton Martin Koch, a musical conductor-composer whose works include Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia! , Billy Elliot, and Chicago. According to the musical’s playwright Bey Logan, the musical will focus more on Ip Man’s inner emotional life, including his heartwarming romance with his wife, 30% of the film will be dedicated to Kung Fu fighting and the other 70% to the great story, sound tracks and visual spectacle. They are joined by veteran Hong Kong actor/producer/comedian Raymond Wong and his son Edmond Wong who are onboard as producer and playwright respectively.
The musical production involves a huge investment of no less than US$12 million ($14 million). According to Robert Vicencio, the producer, it is “probably going to be the most expensive musical in Singapore“.
Grandmaster Ip Ching joins the Ip Man The Musical’s creative production team and brings with him a great significance to the musical’s production team as – contributing pure perspective of the Wing Chun martial arts philosophy, him being the son of the ‘The Father of Wing Chun‘.
Who will play Ip Man has not been revealed but castings is said to be regional. Auditions are on going and will be in China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other parts of Asia with the aims of identifying and discovering new musical talents.
According to Robert Vicencio, Ip Man The Musical will fill in the fap for Chinese content in the musical world. And we agree with him, what about you? Here are some pictures from the recent media conference on Ip Man The Musical – held at the Kallang Theatre.