Who knew about Wushu?

Chi Hsi, a student in the School for Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) practices a Wushu Chinese sword dance to perform - one of several cultural acts - at SFU Surrey
Chi Hsi, a student in the School for Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) practices a Wushu Chinese sword dance to perform - one of several cultural acts - at SFU Surrey's Global Community Open House March 7.
— image credit: SFU

True to its theme, SFU Surrey’s Global Community Open House on Thursday (March 7) will feature a wide range of cultural entertainment, from bhangra, Japanese and Polynesian dancers, to Scottish piping and highland dancing – even an ancient Wushu Chinese sword dance.

Performing the latter will be Chi Hsi, a fifth-year student in SFU’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT).

Hsi (pronounced “see”) says the form seems like a dance because Wushu, a form of martial arts, is known for flexibility and graceful movement involving acrobatics and gymnastics.

“The complexity comes from control of speed, precision of strikes and the presentation, which has as many as 60 moves,” she says.

Hsi became involved in Wushu at the age of nine and says the practice helped improve her athletic ability, enabling her to excel in field hockey and basketball during high school.

Hsi’s presentation, at centre stage in SFU Surrey’s mezzanine, will follow an opening performance by a member of the world-renowned SFU Pipe Band and dancers from the Heather Jolley Highland Dance troupe.

A variety of groups follow, including Sawagi Taiko, Cloverdale’s Paradise of Polynesia dancers and the South Asian Arts Bhangra team.

Langley singer/songwriter Shy Sharity will also perform, followed by Surrey-based youth band Good for Grapes (at about 7 p.m.).

The globally themed open house, which runs from 4:30-8:30 p.m., includes dozens of interactive exhibits, displays, presentations and workshops. Visitors can expect to see everything from battling robots and science experiments to new-age inventions like the stress-relieving sonic cradle and autonomous unmanned aircraft.

Also featured will be an engagement zone where visitors can learn how SFU research makes a difference in communities around the world.

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