Grasping the Bird's Tail
Slow Moving Pictures
Grasping the Bird's Tail
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T'ai Chi Ch'uan in movies often looks perfect and unattainable. Herb's T'ai Chi class is different.
Class members, some of whom have Parkinson's and other challenges, move within their own capabilities, yet their motion melds into a lyrical flow that feels, as one student says, like a gift.
Watching Grasping the Bird's Tail
brings the calm of doing T'ai Chi.

Grasping the Bird's Tail from Slow Moving Pictures -- Watch the Trailer:

Director & Editor, Patricia Somers.
Cinematography by
Claudia Ballard. Music composed by Don Monjure and John Mackay.

davincilaurels CGlaurels

From the Director:

One day I was in T'ai Chi class, surrounded on all sides by people who were turning the wrong way, missing a particular movement or crowding too close to me. Usually this would have tripped my annoyance switch, but on this day, I suddenly felt surrounded by warmth, as though swimming in a sea of fish who were of different colors and sizes, yet all moving together.

The teacher, Herb, had often talked about his unusual approach -- that we each should adapt the form to our own physical limitations -- but this was the first time I really felt its importance. Making the film Grasping the Bird's Tail was a way for me to appreciate the power of this idea: we are not all the same and so our T'ai Chi practice will not be the same, but incorporating the principles of T'ai Chi Chuan into our lives will nourish us.

- Patricia Somers

Slow Moving Pictures presents Grasping the Bird's Tail

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2013