Showcasing Oriental and Western Culture, NTDTV's "Holiday Wonders" Is A Huge Success (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) To celebrate the holiday season and to promote genuine Chinese culture, New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) is presenting its Holiday Wonders show at the Beacon Theater in New York from December 19 through December 24. With the beautiful celestial maidens, colorful festive fan dance, the moving legend of "The Loyalty of Yue Fei", a dance depicting the magnificent Buddha statues from the Dunhuang Caves, the show reveals the magical nature of China's ancient culture through classic music, elegant dance, exquisite costumes and beautiful stage design. Starting from the very first performance on December 19, the show has won the hearts of all in the audience and received rave reviews.
"The Vows of Old"
Inspired Performances Carry Rich Inner Meaning
1) "The Vows of Old"
The first performance of the show is called, "The Vows of Old." It depicts a myth regarding the origin of mankind and the meaning of life:
Before the curtain opened, a live band played a heroic symphony filled with anticipation. With the symphony dying down and the clear music of harp and piano playing, the curtain slowly opens, unveiling a picture of the magnificence of Heaven as described in Western culture.
Accompanied by a flute, angels and other heavenly beings appear and begin to fly around. Suddenly, a bright star appears, while a trombone and a horn played the theme of the performance: a sonorous voice calls out to ask who is willing to go down to Earth to help mankind. The angels and heavenly beings realize that this is the star that they have been waiting for.
A scroll of cloth flies into the scene with two Chinese characters printed on it: "Vow." Under a divine light, the angels and heavenly beings are enraptured. With the moving theme of the performance played by violins, cellos and violas, the heavenly beings are quickly making their decisions. Some signed their name on the "Vow" cloth with a smile while some discussed with others passionately. Dancing maidens celebrate the valor of those who volunteer, symbolically crowning them with flowers and wishing them well. Those who volunteer then walked toward the Earth step by step...
The costumes for this piece were inspired by Renaissance art, which guided the designers to use pale colors and long, flowing forms.
2) "To the Rightful Place"
This piece depicts the universal principle that "Good will be rewarded with good and evil will meet with retribution." With heavenly beings guarding the Heaven and Earth and a Falun rotating on the stage screen, practitioners meditate on Earth peacefully. All of sudden, clouds gathered and evil beings started to persecute the practitioners. Many Falun Gong practitioners were persecuted to death. Bodhisattva then came down to guide the practitioners to Heaven while the evil beings were attacked by heavenly beings with storm and thunder. The gate of Heaven opened, and all heavenly beings gathered together and celestial maidens danced to celebrate the return of these practitioners to their rightful place.
3) "A Dunhuang Dream"
This piece was created based on a legend about the Dunhuang Caves. With the sound of carving axes and chisels gradually rising, a cave with statues of Buddha and celestial maidens appears on the screen. In the darker areas of the cave, some statues are yet to be finished. A sculptor vowed to carve 1,000 Buddha statues in 30 years. However, he was exhausted and fell asleep. Because of his pure heart, heavenly beings come down to help him. In a dream, the vault was filled with light, and those completed statues came to life and showed him thousands of gestures. The magnificent scene inspired the sculptor, and he mimicked the gestures in the dream and memorized the scene. When he awoke, with a sense of awe toward Buddha and with renewed confidence, he continued his work.
Besides dance performances, soprano Min Jiang presented "To be Free," a piece celebrating the gaining of knowledge that leads to true liberation; soprano Xue Bai presented "Finding Truth," a song extolling the value of seeking out facts and truth, and suggests that pain and confusion are ultimately dispelled; tenor Guimin Guan presented "Extolling the Return," describing the joy over having found a means of "returning to his true self," a long-cherished goal in Chinese religious thought.
In addition, the Holiday Wonders showcases the talents of world-class Western artists including the Empire Brass Quintet, a favorite at NTDTV's past shows. This popular ensemble, considered by many the world's foremost brass quintet, performed a medley of holiday favorites to a delighted audience.
Rave Reviews from the Audience
The Holiday Wonders show received rave reviews from many in the audience. On December 20, after two special matinee performances for local schools, many students lingered around and were very hesitate to leave. Later, several children called the NTDTV ticket hotline and told operators that they loved the show. After the show on December 21, an elderly American woman came out the Beacon Theater. She held the hand of a Chinese woman and said loudly, "God bless China and America!" She repeatedly told others that the show was great.
Financial specialist Lina said, "I was moved to tears, and I don't know why I was so touched. Some dances, including the 'Snowy Mountain, White Lotus' and 'Mongolian Bowl Dance,' were very delightful and yet I just couldn't help crying. Although I know little about dance, I did learn from some artists that both music and dance are very profound. In the past, I never got this sense when I watched other shows. However, tonight I have personally experienced the power of real arts."
Ms. Chen has watched the NTDTV Gala for three consecutive years. The 65-year-old said that the performances presented by the NTDTV have been constantly improving and are very good. She said that she liked the stage designs for the Dunhuang Caves and the celestial maidens. Ms. Chen said, "I am very proud of having our authentic culture on Broadway."
Justin from Long Island said: "I am very happy to see our traditional cultural performances on Broadway. This is authentic culture and the performers are very talented. I feel that the show is very dear to me."
Businessman Mr. Deng is more than 80 years old. He said: "The show is great. I have lived in America for several decades and have seen many cultural performances. However, I have never seen a great show like this. From cultural content and skill, to stage design and costumes, everything is just perfect. No wonder that so many Americans have come to watch the show. I will tell my friends and invite them to come to watch the NTDTV New Year Spectacular in February."
Mr. and Mrs. Zagor said, "We once lived in Thailand and have seen many cultural performances. However, the NTDTV Holiday Wonders show is very unique and its performances are unbelievable. After the show, I have developed a new understanding of Chinese culture. We have seen many cultural shows, and this is the best."
Mr. Aibing Zhen and her family immigrated to the United States 6 years ago from China and they have watched the NTDTV Gala every year since 2004. She said that before she came abroad, she didn't realize that the CCTV programs are all about communist propaganda. She said that the NTDTV shows promote the authentic Chinese culture, and the performances brought her depressed spirit freedom and joy.
According to the NTDTV ticket hotline, most tickets for the show have been sold, and many people are now calling to purchase tickets for the NTDTV New Year Spectacular as Christmas gifts for family members and friends. Some in the audience of the Holiday Wonders show also said that they will come back in February for the Spectacular.