To many New Yorkers, Chinese antiquity is very much a mystery. Once known as "The Divine Land," China is now beset by political, cultural, and ecological problems. On top of this, after the communist takeover in 1950, much of its 5,000 years of glorious history has been destroyed or rewritten. Chinese youth now grow up without learning their true heritage.
Modern China is growing into a global force. However, to truly understand and foster ties with this great nation and its many peoples, one must have experienced its history. This is why NTDTV is hosting Divine Performing Arts in NYC and why it has started Program Candlelight as one of its educational outreach programs.
Program Candlelight aims to provide New York area schools and seniors with the chance to see Divine Performing Arts shows at a reduced price, and it would like to give you the opportunity to give back to your community. By purchasing tickets from the NTDTV website (ticket.ntdtv.com) with the group code "candlelight," 20% of the ticket price (excluding theatre fee) will enable schools and seniors in need of financial support to experience an evening of classical Chinese music and dance.
Divine Performing Arts is a New York-based dance group that is rocking the cultural world. Its members consist mostly of ethnic Chinese who, as I did, grew up overseas. DPA aims to spark a revival of ancient Chinese culture. Already, the group’s unique shows have tongues wagging. Outfitted with a new program, including original orchestral scores (and a live orchestra in NYC and other selected cities), this year’s tour will hit over 60 cities all around the globe.
Starting with Holiday Wonders(a holiday show that places Chinese alongside Western performances):
—NYC (Dec. 18-26)
—Baltimore (Dec. 18)
—Charlotte (Dec. 19-20)
DPA will continue with the Chinese New Year Splendor show in New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and the Chinese Spectacular, which will be the program’s touring name in North America, Europe and Asia.
Many pieces in the show are educational and present audiences with grand Chinese folk stories and legends. The Loyalty of Yue Fei, for example, is based off the story of one of China’s most legendary generals (also subject of a folk song/poem “The River Runs Red”), and an exciting and authentic version of The Legend of Mulan tells what Disney does not.
My favorite are the ethnic and period pieces, such as Herding On The Mongolian Plains, a Mongolian boys’ dance of the horse-riding tradition, somewhat reminiscent of the American cowboy, and Ladies of the Manchu Court, a period dance featuring the dignified movements and music of the Qing Dynasty—China’s last.
The majority of DPA’s dances feature Chinese classical dance movements, which include unique rhythms and postures and feature acrobatic tumbling techniques, making it quite engaging to watch. See highlights and pictures from the show at: http://divineperformingarts.org/sy/multimedia and http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZQVNuz0biXM&feature=related
As a cellist and a member of the pit orchestra, I find this show to be a fascinating look into my own heritage. It is a unique experience to play Asian music on a Western instrument alongside classically-trained Chinese musicians playing on their instruments, such as the guzheng (Chinese zither) and the erhu (a two-stringed Chinese violin). This east-meets-west style of playing really enriches my sense of musicality, and it will have a profound impact upon yours as well.
Divine Performing Arts, true to its name, aims to provide you with the full splendor of China’s divinely-inspired culture. Alongside it, NTDTV's Program Candlelight strives to give New York students and seniors a glimpse into classical China, a privilege that Mainland Chinese youth do not have. Please allow us to share this experience with you.
Learn more about Holiday Wonders and me: http://www.leadernewspapers.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5793&new_topic=18
If you'd like, you can contact me at PositronPlethora@gmail.com and I'll be sure to write back to you.