The Shaolin Warriors are a group of contradictions: deliberate yet wild; meditative yet ferocious; effortless yet powerful.
Together they create a dynamic, thrilling performance showcasing kung fu and its Buddhist origins.
In amongst the acrobatics, chanting and incredible feats of strength and endurance is woven the story of two young boys and their journey towards becoming kung fu masters themselves.
Their training provides a smorgasbord of skills and techniques for us to marvel at: hand-to-hand combat, weapons demonstrations and some pretty gasp-inducing stunts.
It is set against a series of impressively bold backdrops and an oriental soundtrack, although the latter is not quite as polished as the other elements.
The first half of the show is more meditative, showcasing foundational techniques like stances and patterns.
The second half really ups the ante, the gasp-inducing moments coming thick and fast.
However, it must be said that the decision to use flimsy, fake blades diminishes the excitement and sense of danger quite considerably.
It was surprisingly comedic in parts, allowing the warriors’ playfulness to mingle effortlessly with their unbelievable physical power.
This is the kind of stuff most of us only ever see in movies; it's a rare treat to experience it free from special effects and visual trickery.
Shaolin Warriors, Aotea Centre Auckland until September 11.