New York: Second Annual International Chinese Classical Dance Competition Concludes--Showcases Pure and Authentic Chinese Classical Dance (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) After three days of intense and exhilarating competition, the final round of the second annual International NTDTV Chinese Classical Dance Competition concluded on August 24, 2008. An awards ceremony was held in the Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center Studios later the same evening after a Divine Performing Arts show. Judges of the competition said that the contestants covered a wide range of methods in their free routines. They made full use of Chinese dance's diversified methods of expression, and manifested a profound expressiveness of Chinese dance.
One of the judges of the competition, veteran Chinese classical dance expert Ms. Xiu Guo, said that the contestants in this competition have truly mastered the artistic forms and phrases in Chinese classical dance. Their movements were round and full, and reflected their human principles. Their performances were graceful and with taste, and successfully showcased pure and authentic Chinese dance to the world.
The judges are pleased that the competition achieved the goal of promoting pure and authentic Chinese classical dance. They are very gratified, and said that they will continue making efforts in this direction.
Letting the World See Pure and Authentic Chinese Classical Dance
Judge Xiu Guo said, "Chinese classical dance has a long history, while in China and abroad, and dance circles have a great difference in understanding of Chinese classical dance. For example, regarding the meaning of authentic bearings and forms. Are they figures or weapon-handling skills in dramatic performance? Or are they martial arts or techniques? Professional contestants in today's competition helped everyone gain a visual and perceptual knowledge of Chinese dance, and let people see pure and authentic Chinese classical dance. It is a very pleasant start."
Huang Ting-jie, finalist for the Adult Female Division thought that the contestants in this competition exhibited high overall standards, and they were able to make good use of bearings and forms in Chinese dance. They portrayed the character's feelings accurately and meticulously, displayed the characteristic of classical dance, and let people better understand what Chinese dance is and understand Chinese culture.
Judge Ms. Yi Cao said that the contestants in this competition are generally of high standards, and they made a full use of a wide variety of expressive methods in Chinese dance, manifesting the profound expressiveness of Chinese dance.
Ms. Cao said, "Chinese classical dance is rich, so it is more convenient to portray characters and depict plots, and it has unique conditions. So I feel, speaking from this viewpoint, that this competition is much more abundant than the previous competition. I believe that Chinese classical dance will be wider in scope in the future."
Returning to the Inner Meaning of Pure Truthfulness and Pure Kindness
Judge Vina Lee said that the assessment of the competition was focused on how the contestants use pure and authentic methods of expression in Chinese dance to display the inner meaning. She said, "We saw in this competition the contestants' individual styles, quality and the display of their spiritual realm. They did not abuse skills, and what they performed was not decadent art, but the hope, positive spirit, and quality of the traditional culture. The aim of the competition is to return to the art of humanity that is purely truthful and compassionate. It can be said that through the competition, we are gradually moving in this direction, and will lead the world to a trend of new culture."
Contestants in the competition covered a wide range of topics, including legends and stories of many Chinese figures in history, such as Yue Fei and Lady Warriors of the Yang Family in the Song Dynasty, Jing Ke in the Warring States Period, Su Wu in the Han Dynasty, and Xiang Yu who was grief-stricken and took his own life in the Wujiang River. There was also a little dragon girl and celestial maidens in the myths and legends, and so on. The characters portrayed and the stories traversed time and space, spanned China's 5,000 years of history, and involved heaven and earth.
The audience members' feedback indicated that they understood that the contestants used the expressiveness of Chinese dance to showcase the beauty of humanity, and moral characters that human beings should have. Masculine firmness and feminine gentleness were fully presented in a pure and beautiful manner.
Website Performance Producer: Chinese dance competition will become a regular part of the cultural landscape in New York
"Tomorrow Will Be Televised" website performance producer watched the International Chinese Classical Dance Competition for a second time. He said that the Chinese dance was beautiful, and since it was a competition, it was even more beautiful. This year's dances were better than those in the previous year in terms of the music, techniques and individual expression of the characters.
He said that the International Chinese Classical Dance Competition is promoting traditional culture, and is a very good competition. It will become a regular part of the cultural landscape in New York.
Chinese Dance Fan: Winners deserve the awards
Ms. Wu, who is from California, loves Chinese dance. She was very excited, and gave her comments on the three gold award winners. She said, "The gold award winner of the Junior Female Division, Chelsea Cai, in her performance 'Flying Celestial Maiden,' danced delicately and gently, and the silk ribbon circled her arms like colorful clouds turning and rotating when she made turns and flips. Her last dance posture gradually came to rest, just like a Dunhuang frescoes."
As for the gold award winner of the Junior Male Division, Golden Li in his performance, "Man Jiang Hong (poetry written by General Yue Fei of the Song Dynasty)," Ms. Wu said that Golden Li was able to incorporate Yue Fei's vigorous personality into his dance. Even when he turned his back to the audience, he still expressed that kind of realm. Golden Li's movements were clean and neat, skills were perfect, and the connection of movements flowed.
As for Tim Wu's performance "Express Feelings with a Brush," Ms. Wu said that Tim used a brush as a prop. To achieve a stage effect, the brush was very large, and could become a cumbersome object if not used properly in the dance, but Tim was able to dance with the brush as if it was a part of his body, which strengthened his expressiveness, and successfully portrayed an image of a scholar, with a profound inner meaning. He was mature in his performance, and also completed a series of movements requiring highly refined skills. He deserved the gold award.
That same evening, the Divine Performing Arts performed in the Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center Studios. After the show, the winners of the second annual "International Chinese Classical Dance Competition" were announced and awards ceremony was held.
The following are the winners in each of the categories:
First: Contestant No. 10, Chelsea Cai
Second: Contestant No. 11, Alison Chen
Third: Contestant No. 9, Angelia Wang, and contestant No. 15, Cindy Liu
Honorable Mention: Contestant No. 7, Lilly Wang; Contestant No. 1, Xiya Li; Contestant No. 6, Serena Liang; and Contestant No. 3, Miranda Zhou
First: Contestant No. 29, Golden Li
Second: Contestant No. 22, Juncheng Chen
Third: Contestant No. 20, Rocky Liao and Contestant No. 23, Tony Xue
Honorable Mention: Contestant No. 24, Po-Hung Lin; Contestant No. 39, William Li; Contestant No. 31, Xin Liu; and Contestant No. 38, Gary Liu
Second: Contestant No. 52, Jennifer Su
Third: Contestant No. 46, Yingzi, and Contestant No. 45, Ting-Jie Huang
Honorable Mention: Contestant No. 40, Madeline Lobjois; Contestant No. 54, Wendy Su; Contestant No. 42, Sharon Gao; and Contestant No. 58, Meijing Dong
First: Contestant No. 61, Tim Wu
Second: Contestant No. 79, Jason Shi
Third: Contestant No. 71, Steven Wang, and Contestant No. 76, Leon Chao
Honorable Mention: Contestant No. 68, Seongho Cha; Contestant No. 80, Arnold Yu; and Contestant No. 66, Brian Nieh