[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

"Chinlon", Myanmar National Game, L

Subject: "Chinlon", Myanmar National Game, Long may it be enjoyed. 

"Chinlon", Myanmar National Game, Long may it be enjoyed. 

It is a game for cooperative, endeavour yet provides opportunity for
the exhibition of the highest form of individual skill.  The player
keeps the "Chinlon" high and places it in the best portion so that a
team-mate can get under it to play his various strokes, to assume his
initial posture, follow the stroke through and then hold the final
pose.  The player's task is not just to "feed" the other players, it
is for him to use his initiative to perform the more intricate and
difficult strokes, perhaps consecutively, so that he gains points for
his team.  And so It goes round the five players facing each other in
an enclosing circle.

It is a game yet one would it to be a dance.  It exhibits so many
choreographic elements which seem to come straight from the court
dances of an earlier day.  The grace of movement, the shaping of form
in space, the resilience of the speaking body, the design of the
postures.  Nothing?s more dance-like than the curves and tines
followed by the body and the limbs in playing the salwe-gyi, the
"royal sash".

The "Chinlon" drops to the player from behind his head and shoulder,
and he strikes it with his foot which moves in a graceful curve.
Throughout the performance the player's eyes follow the path by which
the "Chinlon" enters his strike point.  Our eyes are drawn by his
glance and we join him in gilding along that path.  As the stroke ends
in a tableau we realize the player is creating for us the beauty of a
dance posture even while he is imparting to us the joy of play.

It is a display of juggling yet remains a game.  Only an exquisite
sense of timing and disposition of space render the skilful execution
of the, kaba-nyunt, the "tendril of the world".  The spread of the
player's limbs serves as the base to balance the trajectory of the
"Chinlon" as it follows a curved path from one side of the player's
body to the other.  And just as it seems that It must touch the ground
and go out of play, the sideward stretched foot catches it and the
toes send it tip again like a fairy in flight against the gold and
blue of the tropical evening.

it is the expression of artistic creativity yet demands the physical
feat of the athlete.  Only the bold artist who has confidence in his
ability to express himself in the chosen medium would dare to attempt
the waik-gyi, the "great circling".

As the "Chinlon" rushes back to hug the earth, the player throws
himself into the air and strikes It with his instep to toss it back to
the sky.  Meanwhile, he has completed a turn in the air.  He does not
fail to the ground in a sprawl, but lands in a meanwhile he faces in
the original direction.  He does this stroke not once but five, eight,
ten times successively, spinning in high space fill space itself
becomes alive, Only an athlete could possess the stamina to execute
these movements with such precision.  This is an exhibition of stasis
awakening to movement and then subsiding again into stasis.

After nursing the physical bruises and mental abrasions from the play.
one is delighted by the harmless nature of this game.  It goes fullest
in eliminating any element which might cause injury to body or spirit.
Though there is competition one does not face the opponents.  Each
learn plays its own game and displays its skills.  So there can be no
occasion to display antagonism.  One plays in the friendliest of
environments because one plays in a circle of one's own teammates.

This is the game of "Chinlon".   Our Myanmar National Game.  Long may
it be enjoyed.
Excerpts from "CHINLON", The Cane-Ball Game by Win Pe, Today Magazine,
March 1997