Memphis, Tennessee: Local Officials Welcome Divine Performing Arts (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) On the evening of February 8, 2009, Divine Performing Arts (DPA) Touring Company held a show at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee. The pure compassion that DPA brought resonated with the audience, who gave a standing ovation at the end of the show. Afterwards, many people shook hands with the orchestra. Many government officials in Tennessee came to see the show, and expressed their excitement at this opportunity to see such a beautiful depiction of traditional Chinese culture.
Congressman Cohen: The show is very meaningful
Congressman Steven Cohen was among the audience. He stated that the show displayed many cultures, was very colorful, helped improve the understanding between different ethnicities, and so enriched community life.
He said that the show gave the people of Memphis a taste of Chinese culture, "...especially in this Chinese New Year season, which is important to our community." He added, "Although I am not familiar with Chinese culture, I felt the show is very meaningful, and interesting."
Congressman Cohen said, "I feel very happy that people in Memphis have the opportunity to enjoy the DPA show. The costumes are very beautiful, the color is beautiful, the choreography is well done, and the artistic quality is very pleasant. I believe all had the same experience as me--very excited and re-freshing. This is absolutely a good opportunity for the people of Memphis to experience Chinese culture."
Mr. Cohen thanked the hosting company that brought the show to Memphis during the Chinese New Year season, enabling children and adults alike to come into contact with Chinese culture and learn about China.
Senator Tate: I like the message
Tennessee Senator Reginald Tate expressed his feelings after seeing the show. He found that the show presented "culture from a different angle. I like the movement. I like the message. It's quite different."
Divine Performing Arts uses Chinese classical dance and borrows from Chinese folk dance, to present five thousand years of Chinese culture. Senator Tate said, "Even though it's from a different culture, it's refreshing. It's very beautiful. I like it very much, I really do."
Mr. Tate added after the show, "Now I can feel the plight of what they [persecuted Falun Gong practitioners in China] have been through by the messages they are sending through this music. I can appreciate it. I can."
Mr. Tate added, "I can see the struggle of a people. I can see, if you will, the same type of slavery that we [African-Americans] experienced. I can also see the same type of plight that was overcome here."
Congressman Todd: Eternal virtue
Congressman Curry Todd said after the show, "It was brilliant! A very well executed show! I was very pleased!" Mr. Todd said that the show displayed the different aspects of the Chinese culture and nationalities. "The show has so much diverse culture and aspects from all parts of China. I think that really showed in the performances from each region. The colors were beautiful, just magnificent! The tenor and sopranos are all very outstanding. I could understand the lyrics from the subtitles. The songs are all great. The feeling they poured into the singing deeply moved me."
He said that the inner meaning was very positive, encouraging people to see hope in the future, to advance, and to not give up. He said that many things in life fly by, and we should treasure our daily life, and be more compassion. Mr. Todd felt that this show provided a bridge for American people to learn about Chinese culture. "I really did like the family scene, with the husband the wife...all coming together. That shows the unique bond that Chinese culture has... I'm very respectful of that and I was very impressed with that."
He also added that before the performance, he did not anticipate that the show would be like this, with the elegant costumes, the beauty, and the various ways each piece moved the audience. Todd concluded, "I've seen many shows before, but this is absolutely on top of all other shows."
Congresswoman Cooper: Don't miss Divine Performing Arts
"When I get to session in the morning, I'm going to tell everyone who missed it that when you come back next year they must come and be a part," said Ms. Cooper, Tennessee District 86 Congresswoman. She exclaimed, "The numbers are fantastic! The costumes use bright colors, the music is soothing and soft, it is breathtaking!"
The most impressive piece to her was the dance drama where a woman was imprisoned for practicing Falun Gong ("Dignity and Compassion"). In this dance, Congresswoman Cooper saw many levels of meaning, such as the Chinese tradition of respecting Heaven and divine beings, and the traditional principle that good will be rewarded with good, while evil always meets with retribution. She also saw the current situation of freedom of belief in China. Congresswoman Cooper said that America is a free country, and people have freedom of expression and belief. She said that the situation presented in this dance drama would not happen here.
Ms. Cooper attended the "Meet the Performers" gathering after the show. As a teacher herself, Ms. Cooper said she was so excited to see the show, because during her 42 years of teaching, she wanted to learn more about China, and introduce China to her students. "In two and a half hours today, I learned more about Chinese culture and tradition than I could have dreamed of learning. The DPA show is very suitable for children, very educational."
Congressman Hardaway: So good, it is beyond imagination
Another congressman Mr. G.A. Hardaway said the show is so good that it is beyond one's imagination. He said, "The precision of the performers and the splendid colors, everything seemed to be just perfect. I've got a critical eye, but it got to the point where I stopped looking for errors and just started enjoying myself. My only thing I regret is that I did not bring my children. This is the kind of experience that you want to share not just with your friends but specifically with your children. You want them to be able to appreciate the culture and understand how important history is to who you are and what you are today and this just summed it all up today."
He said it is very hard to choose his favorite performance, because all that he experienced made him feel very humble. "The dancers themselves and the costumes, the way they flowed, the use of the colors, it was all so incredible. Perfection seemed to be the goal and as far as I'm concerned it was achieved."
Congressman Miller: DPA is cultural exchange with no language barrier
Congressman Larry Miller said during the intermission, "There's no language barrier, you have interpretors to interpret in English and then in Chinese, and it's pretty perfect." He praised the subtitles on the backdrop, and the host and hostess's excellent introduction. The rich expression of Chinese classical dance made him feel that there are no cultural or language barriers preventing him from understanding the show.
Mr. Miller said, "I'm enjoying it thoroughly. I'm looking forward to next year." He said the show combined culture, history and humanity, and it is an unforgettable cultural learning experience.
Congressman Miller said, "From a cultural standpoint, I'm not one who has a lot of experience in classical dance but just sitting here enjoying this moment, I immediately began to appreciate classical dance." He added excitedly, "I wish I knew some words in Chinese... at some point I would love to learn a few words of Chinese, such as, 'thank you,' 'beautiful,' 'how lovely,' 'how great!' I really would like to learn more about Chinese culture."
He added, "This is something different for me. You could look at the dance and enjoy the dance and enjoy the beautifulness of the costumes and yet it's still telling a story, and I could literally keep up with the story. The technology is fantastic, its almost like a live show on television or in a movie theater at the same time. It's very thought out and perfected."
"I could understand the lyrics, absolutely." Mr. Miller continued, "For example in the last song it seems as though it's saying, more so to those of the Chinese culture, don't forget your home, don't forget your culture and where you come from. There's a lot of history in this music."
The dance drama, "Monk Jig Gong Abducts the Bride," impressed him. "The story of the monk saying that this mountain is going to fall and people thinking he was crazy, but then the mountain fell, and he had saved people and at that point, they realized that this guy was really telling us the truth the whole time."
Congressman Miller was sorry that DPA only had one show in Memphis. "This show should run for several days; I would go home and tell my friends and family to all come and see this show. The tour has not ended, but I am anticipating next year's show already."