Armless Chinese pianist scales new heights

Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:01pm EST
 
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BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - Armless Chinese pianist Liu Wei is set to take his unusual skill on a world tour, showing off to a global audience his dexterity with his toes.

Beijing-born Liu, who lost both arms aged 10 when he was electrocuted during a game of hide-and-seek, shot to domestic fame playing the piano with his toes on the popular television talent show "China's Got Talent."

The Chinese version of the show made its debut in May, with the semifinal ranking the top programme nationally by ratings.

Footage of his performances went viral on videosharing websites, turning him into a popular sensation overnight, similar to fellow contestants from the "Got Talent" franchise like Susan Boyle and Paul Potts.

Though he needs assistance in daily tasks such as eating and drinking, Liu was determined to train his toes to play the piano and started teaching himself the piano five years ago, often practicing for seven hours each day.

"I feel that I'm not different from other people. I've lost my two arms, but I can still do the things I like. I suppose that this is what other people appreciated about me," he said.

Liu's itinerary will include Hong Kong, Paris, Vienna and Taipei.

(Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

 
<p>Pianist Liu Wei who is armless, plays piano with his toes during a practice session for a promotional event for a local television channel, in Beijing, November 15, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic</p>