East meets West at Southbank this week after twenty Shaolin Monks arrived to perform an Australian premiere in the Brisbane Festival.

Despite being so far from home, the young performers showed no fear eagerly providing a taste of what festival goers can expect.

Cerrissa Enright reports.

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Brisbane audiences are in for a sensory delight when 20 Shaolin monks perform at the Playhouse later this week.

The contemporary movement piece “Sutra” incorporates free thinking and movement with traditional warrior martial arts.

Sidi Larbi Cherkauoi, Sutra Choreographer: “It’s a show that in many ways tries to reflect on Buddhism and martial arts and what they could mean today and what the could talk about right now.”

The monks are aged between nine and 22, with many of them having trained in contemporary movement for a decade.

Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkauoi collaborated with many artists including the Shaolin monks when composing the piece.

Sidi Larbi Cherkauoi, Sutra Choreographer: “Sutra is actually a show that I composed with the Shaolin Monks of the temple in Henan in China and Antony Gormley who’s a synographer but actually a visual artist from England and Szymon Brzoska who is a composer from Poland.”

The Shaolin Monks will perform the premiere of Sutra here at Southbank as part of the Brisbane Festival before continuing to Sydney to perform at the Sydney Opera House.

Sutra starts tomorrow night at the Playhouse Theatre and runs for four nights.

Cerrissa Enright, QUT News.