Wushu is a student organization that, according to their Instagram, practices contemporary Wushu, a form of martial arts, with a focus on Taoist and Shaolin tradition. This year, they did a sapphic retelling of “Mulan” for their annual spring show entitled “Reflections.” As the first show since COVID-19 caused students to be sent home, it acts as an homage to the 2021 show that got canceled.
“We were going to do ‘Mulan’ [my] sophomore year,” Anna Hu ’22, co-president for Wushu, said. “We got pretty far into [planning the event], and then we couldn’t do it … This year, we brought it back but made some changes.”
This retelling is a combination of multiple versions of the story, including the animated and live-action Disney versions, to portray more characters and eventually have Mulan fall in love with a witch. The show had guest performances by the College’s Freestyle and Shotokan Karate, the Wellesley Asian Dancer Organization, Brown Lion Dance and MIT Spinning Arts.
One of the struggles with the event was the long period of time without consistent in-person practices. This year, Wushu has had more members but less experienced performers.
“The seniors are the only ones left who know how to do all these weapons and choreo,” Wushu Co-President Eugenia Zhang ’22 said. “We are basically timing ourselves to kind of, you know, teach all these weapons, create choreo and manage the show ourselves and kind of teach the underclassmen, ‘this is how you do it.’”
While the difference in experience adds some difficulty to directing a show, Hu noted that the underclassmen and new members also added a lot to the planning experience.
“It’s been really nice to see the younger members sort of step into leadership roles because the way we plan the shows is through a bunch of different committees,” she said. “We have a lot of younger members sticking up to lead those committees and they’re doing a great job.”
As seniors, both Hu and Zhang find it fitting to have their final show be “Reflections,” where they can share the culmination of their year’s work in the organization.
“It’s kind of like coming full circle that we [had a show] in first-year and now we [had a show in our] fourth year,” Zhang said. “It’s just a nice way to have our own show to display what we’ve been working on the entire year.”