The Art of the March: Cues from Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War,’
Halftime show for MSU versus UMD game
Michigan State University, Lansing, MI
November 14, 2015
In an unprecedented collaboration between athletics, music and art, the Spartan Marching Band of Michigan Statue University performed its largest, most complex, halftime show on November 14, 2015 during the Michigan State University vs. Maryland football game.
Dancers, singers and color guard members - all MSU students - joined the band as it took over Spartan Stadium with “The Art of the March: Cues from Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War,’” a 12-minute multimedia halftime show. The show featured more than 600 performers, including 300 band members, as well as smoke, a dragon, and Chinese instruments. In addition, 1,500 audience members sitting in the east side of the stadium participated in holding up cards to form paintings by Ma that were shown on the Jumbotron.
The show consisted of five musical sections, including “Crouching Tiger” by Tan Dun and “The Jasmine Flower,” a traditional Chinese song. Ma received her inspiration from “The Art of War,” an ancient Chinese military treatise by Sun Tau, a high-ranking military general. The text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly known to be the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time. It remained the most important and well-known military treatise in Asia for the last two thousand years. The Art of War has influenced Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond. Its military focus aligned well with what Ma envisioned as “the life of a Spartan.”
– Jennifer Wen Ma
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