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Playing the Form

Westerners describe ways in which playing the T'ai Chi form - a sequence of precise moves - has, over time, changed their lives. With music from Simon Hall.

The Form in Tai Chi is a set number of precise moves which Tai Chi participants play in sequence. Each move has a martial application although Tai Chi is often practised more for healing and meditative purposes. Many of the moves have wonderfully evocative names such as Embrace Tiger Return to Mountain, White Crane Spreads its Wings, Grasp Sparrow's Tail.

In this programme Westerners describe ways in which playing the Tai Chi Form has, over time, changed their lives. Murray took it up initally to heal damage he'd caused to his back from being a baker. Alec started in order to overcome shyness. Johkim began when both of her parents died and she wanted to change the direction of her life. Bruce Frantzis describes the way in which playing Tai Chi healed his broken back after a car accident. Over time, Playing the Form altered the path of each of their lives.

There is a sense that the Short Form is being played throughout this programme, with accompanying soundtrack from composer Simon Hall.

Producer Rosie Boulton.

30 minutes

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