I was intrigued by the title. EAST MEETS WEST. In all caps?
And the description. A documentary featuring actor Morgan Benoit (Forbidden Kingdom, Into the Badlands), students from the Laizhou Martial Arts School of Shandong Province China and Gold Drum & Bugle Corps of Southern CA.
In my little corner of the world the Gold Drum and Bugle Corps had zero impact. Not even a flicker of recognition.
The Martial Arts School was different. These guys can be show stoppers.
But the pairing seemed unlikely, the video didn’t promise to be compelling viewing.
So I sat down to watch on YouTube. Unlike a cinema, no one would be disturbed if I went and made a coffee and cut a sandwich.
After all, 46 minutes is a long time to sit in front of a screen.
46 minutes and 41 seconds later I finally got up to make coffee and cut two sandwiches.
East Meets West proved compelling viewing.
It’s a simple enough story. The two groups of students meet together, do some gruelling rehearsals,
– especially after you’ve just stepped off a plane from China to California,
to make a unified show.
Then set out on a long, long road show with that show.
I loved it. First up, I’m now a convert to Gold.
They can drum, play, dance. With precision. And passion.
So much so that what started out as an after school band is now a nationally recognized music school.
Laizhou Martial Arts School is already internationally famous for its cultural performance at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.
The young people of the USA and China found that each group lifted the other into those show-stopping performances. Across 16 different cities around North America.
More than that, this movie traces the development of friendship through cultural and linguistic encounter.
YouTube is a natural place for East Meets West. It will keep on being discovered, like and shared. Why?
Crafted with precision, telling a simple story and capturing the exuberance of sheer talent. A winner.