Hundred Plays

By | 08.04.2017

Word List. Unit 25

  • An acrobat is a person who entertains people by doing amazing physical things.
    There were acrobats at the circus that did impressive and complicated jumps.
  • Advocacy is the act of supporting or recommending something.
    Janine’s strong advocacy for the event made people want to attend.
  • If something is communal, it involves a group of people.
    On the weekends, Theo and his son picked up trash in the communal park.
  • If something is fluid, it is smooth and moves gracefully.
    Boris was a famous ballet dancer because people admired his fluid movements.
  • To harmonize means to make different things go well together.
    The sweet and sour flavors of the dish harmonized well and tasted great.
  • If someone is industrious, they work hard.
    Dennis was very industrious, so he never had problems finding a job.
  • When someone is inventive, they are good at creating new things.
    The inventive student built a robot to help her with her chores.
  • If something is judicial, it is related to judges or courts of law.
    The laws changed the way the judicial system was structured.
  • Mandarin is one of the two main Chinese languages.
    Although John’s parents both spoke Mandarin, he could only speak English.
  • If something is metropolitan, it relates to a large city.
    All of the metropolitan excitement of New York City made Rufus nervous.
  • To mimic something means to copy the way it sounds or moves.
    The hunter mimicked a duck’s call and shot the two ducks that called back.
  • When something is misguided, it is based on bad judgment or wrong beliefs.
    The snake bit Molly during her misguided attempt to grab it.
  • To rehearse means to practice and prepare for a performance in front of people.
    Vick’s band rehearsed all week before their first show.
  • To scorn someone means to behave without respect toward them.
    The criminal was scorned by everyone in the community.
  • If something is sensory, it is related to the senses.
    Iris and Eric preferred the sensory thrill of watching movies in the theater.
  • If something is staple, it is standard or basic.
    Hamburgers, steaks and hotdogs are staple foods to cook on a grill.
  • A statute is a law that is official and has been written down.
    The new statute made it illegal to walk dogs in the park.
  • A veteran is someone who has a lot of experience doing something.
    Hank was the team veteran and had played in more games than anyone else.
  • A villain is an evil person who breaks the law or hurts others.
    The villain escaped with half of my family’s valuables.
  • A vine is a plant that has long, twisting stems and climbs upward.
    The branches of the trees were covered with vines.

Hundred Plays

Over two thousand years ago, Chinese farmers had a problem. Even though they were very industrious, the weather became too cold outside to plant their staple food, rice. So what did they do? Since they had so much free time during the long, cold winters, the inventive farmers started performing tricks to entertain themselves. They used their farm tools and anything they could find to make their tricks more spectacular. They even twisted their bodies into crazy shapes and performed awesome jumps. Overtime, they became great acrobats, and their art form came to be known as “Hundred Plays.”

Hundred Plays involves doing many kinds of tricks. For example, in Mandarin-speaking parts of China, performers do the lion dance. They wear costumes and mimic the animal’s movements. Early performers also did tricks on ropes and vines that were high above the ground. Even though the acrobats’ fluid movements may have looked easy, they took a lot of work. Learning Hundred Plays is a communal event. A veteran of the acrobatic arts usually teaches younger people in the village. They spend a lot of time rehearsing. The young performers also learn an old philosophy. The teachings help them harmonize the sensory aspects of acrobatics with mental aspects. In other words, it teaches them to use their physical and mental strength together. Since the art has its origins with poor farmers, rich people used to scorn acrobats.

They thought acrobats were villains. The rich people thought the acrobats just wanted to trick them. But later, their misguided opinions changed. Acrobats came to be respected in Chinese society. They were invited to perform in metropolitan areas as well as in small villages. They performed for important people, including judicial officers. Arts advocacy groups convinced the government to support Chinese acrobatics. As a result, there is now a statute that made several villages the center of training future acrobats.

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