The story of the Bar Kokhba revolt in the 2nd century CE culminates in the rabbi Judah ben Baba initiates 5 new rabbis and sends them away before being killed himself. (The Talmud, Arsène Darmesteter, 1897.) This story bears some similarity to the 5 disciples of Shaolin who fled the burning temple and went on [...]

There's a lot of radioactive waste coming out in the form of shows and movies. They take our favorite childhood shows and movies, turn them inside out, impale our heroes, and produce radioactive beasts. These shows don't want us to love them. They want our attention. They do this through a clever gimmick that I [...]

Two different Wushu books written in China both have not-so-covert criticism of Mao's Cultural Revolution, both written near the end of the Deng Xiaoping era of 1979-1997. This period seemed to produce some actual history and science surrounding Wushu. Meanwhile, Maoists were still defending Mao's efforts to crush the "Four Olds: Old Ideas, Old Culture, [...]

The Qianlong court in the late 1700s banned women from performing live theater in China in an effort to "uphold morality." Men therefore impersonated females in the "Huadan" role, like the one played by Lam Ching Ying in The Prodigal Son (1981). European theater has a similar tradition of men performing female roles, a tradition [...]

Some of the early pioneers that helped in transitioning southern opera from Mandarin to Cantonese. Also note that there were various "amateur troupes... referred to as zhishi ban, they advocated a reformist if not a pro-revolutionary agenda, hoping to harness popular theater for the sake of political and social change in China." These were the [...]