Painter from Shanghai: Irresistibly Moved (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) After each 2008 Divine Performing Arts Chinese New Year Splendor, small groups of people who had just seen the performance would gather outside in front of Radio City Music Hall, despite the cold weather. They were sharing their excitement and feelings about the show. On February 8, 2008, I, a journalist, joined one of the groups, and talked with Mr. W., a painter from mainland China.
Mr. W., a well-known portrait and landscape painter, came from Shanghai five years ago. He used to teach art at a university, worked in design at a craft factory, and also worked in building/architecture design. This was his first time to see the Divine Performing Arts' show. He had tears in his eyes as we talked about his impressions, because he was so moved by the performance.
Divine Performing Arts Impacted My Heart Directly
Mr. W. expressed much happiness and gratitude to Divine Performing Arts (DPA) for their wonderful use of a stage performance to re-create the best of Chinese civilization. He was also pleased that DPA was promoting traditional Chinese culture, and opening such a channel in mainstream western society. He said, "I never saw such performers, with female dancers so exquisite, kind, pure and beautiful, and male dancers each possessing Chinese men's masculine strength that inspires people. Their purity and wonderfulness moved me."
Mr. W. believes that the most important part of the show was the inner meaning in each performance - inner connotations that can move people's hearts and minds. He said, "I think people can believe in God, Jesus, Buddha, or Dao. Their faith can be different, but their inherent goodness is shared human nature. This is universal. When people are suppressed and persecuted for their faith, it is against the heavenly law. Tonight I saw in the dance, 'The Risen Lotus Flower,' a kind-hearted cultivator being murdered because of protecting fellow practitioners, but she rose to heaven. I also saw in the 'Power of Awareness,' that whether men or women, old or young, they all stood up to safeguard justice. I am so moved, I cannot hold back my tears."
Divine Performing Arts Expands People's Awareness of the Cosmos
Mr. W. said he was basically an atheist before, feeling that he was a very unimportant person with no meaning in his life. He said, "The opening piece 'Creation,' gave me a new insight. I felt that those Buddha's hand gestures and movements were very familiar and graceful. The scenery displayed heavenly realms with amazing detail, which is divine and beyond imagination. Ordinary people can never display that. This divine beauty and kindness, this feeling of eternal origin revealed, absolutely overawed me."
Mr. W. said that the ability of the New Year Splendor to expand the audience's awareness and understanding of the cosmos and the world to such a degree with one show is "marvelous."
Experiencing the Poetic Grace of the Dance
Mr. W. said that he loved all the dances and music in the show. Each dance has its own unique and very good parts. He found it very hard to say which was his favorite, or to convey his sense of miraculous enjoyment. He said, "The grace of the Divine Performing Arts' dances must be felt with the heart. Otherwise one cannot understand or be in accord with the beauty and harmony. It does not matter if one is involved in music or literary creation; any nationality, cultural background, men or women, old or young, they can all recognize the universal goodness in Divine Performing Arts."
To give an example, Mr. W. discussed the Korean dance: "The Korean dance is very pretty and lively. The music is unique and flowing. The wrist movement in the dance are very detailed and vivid. The cloud-walking, floating and jumping, the movements of the feet and knees are also full of detailed changes." He added, "This is connected with aesthetics in painting - there are details within a big picture, which makes the overall effect very full and never dull."
He said that while the Tang Dynasty drums were being played, they seemed to represent the grand Chinese majesty and feeling of divinity, might, and harmony. "Our traditional Chinese painting also emphasizes elements of divinity, might, civilized conduct, and depth. It was wonderful to see how Divine Performing Arts used music and dance, performed with the Chinese soul, with such poetic grace."
Mr. W. indicated that this was his first time to see the Divine Performing Arts' Chinese New Year Splendor. He said he wants to watch it repeatedly, and continuously enlighten with his heart, to grasp the essence of Divine Performing Arts' message.