Chinese Kung Fu forms first evolve as a note of martial applications summarized by each founding master. It was intended as a contingent alternative to practice (shadow boxing) when there is no partner to practice with. Nor was it intended to replace partner workmanship (feeding).
Forms serve as a good frame of reference to those who do not understand the internal mechanism of the art. However, once realized and digested, the forms should be done with and one should be able to improvise applications in accord with their intent en rapport with their character with the taste of their subjective style.
Similar to the school education experience, once one mastered a subject and passed the examination, the notes of the subject should be discarded, once and for all.
There is something in the authentic forms, but the form itself is no it!
Attachment to forms is the sure symptom of ignorance.
Unfortunately, form attachment is still the norm to the contemporary cognition of Chinese Kung Fu in the name of tradition today. This is the dramatization of Kung Fu as the Chinese classic fiction evolved from the labyrinth of propaganda of the mass media derived from ignorance, which is no less than the vulgarization and degradation of the essence of the art!
If you have to begin with the forms, try to understand the intent of each movement, assimilate, digest, detach and out-grown oneself from what is being delineated in the forms, then will there be the possibility of spontaneous improvisation.
Ironically, the same applies to the spiritual dimension of the art.
Be free to express oneself in motion without being stupid.
Spontaneity is where there is no mind!