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The Chinese Classical Dance Competition Reverberates throughout Canada (Photos)

July 12, 2007 |   Written by a practitioner in Canada

(Clearwisdom.net) The first NTDTV International Chinese Classical Dance Competition began at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University in New York on July 6, 2007. The goal of the competition is to promote pure authentic traditional dance, pure goodness, and pure beauty, and it has caused great reverberations in Canadian society.

Heather Mitchell, principal of the Claude Watson School for the Arts

Megan Schroeder, a dance teacher at the Claude Watson School for the Arts

City Councilor Sandra Yeung Racco and her husband, Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario, came with their four children to see the 2007 NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular in Toronto

Merilyn Field, the founder and president of DareArts Foundation, and the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal

1. MPP and City Councilor Wish the Dance Competition Great Success

A City Councilor from the City of Vaughan, Sandra Yeung Racco, and her husband Mario G. Racco, Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) in Ontario, both commended New Tang Dynasty TV's efforts in bridging the gap between eastern and western culture. They also wished great success to each participant of the Chinese Classic Dance Competition.

City Councilor Sandra Yeung Racco was born in Hong Kong and brought up in Toronto. As a musician herself, Mrs. Racco believes that the 2007 NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular provided a good history lesson for her four children, "For them, this is a history lesson, really for them to be able to learn about something... You can get a history lesson through this type of performance, through this kind of cultural performance."

Her husband, MPP Mario G. Racco, was very impressed with the performance presented by NTDTV in 2007, "The Spectacular was unique because the artists were different from what I have seen before." "I admired the performance, the costumes and the music, which is the most important part to me."

Sandra liked the story lines behind all the performances and she took the story of Mulan as an example, "The value of the family is deeply-rooted in our Chinese culture... Certainly we value our families very much and respect our elderly. And that is the major cultural difference between our culture and western culture... I am not sure if there is anything comparable to that in the western culture." Sandra Yeung believes that "the Spectacular benefits everyone, Chinese, non-Chinese, and other cultures."

Mrs. Sandra Yeung Racco said, "I wish all the participants great success in the competition." MPP Mr. Racco said, "I know that for all of them, the participants, the families, their extended families, it is a major event and I wish all of them much success and joy in particular..." "Enjoy yourself not only in the competition, but also enjoy New York, and its vicinity, so that such a day, such an event will be remembered for many generations to come."

2. Renowned Education Specialist Highly Praised Chinese Classical Dance

Merilyn Field, the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, is a renowned education specialist. She is the Founder and President of the DareArts Foundation, and was on the advisory board for the NTDTV Chinese New Year Gala in 2004. She has her own understanding about Chinese Classical Dance. As to the importance of Chinese Classical Dance to western culture, or cultures other than Chinese, Ms. Field said, "We all have values we can share whether from five thousand years ago or from today's time. This you can sense in the audience watching these values being expressed by the dancers. It leaves us inspired to see more and to be better people ourselves."

Regarding the Chinese Classical Dance Competition, Ms. Field said, "There is a Renaissance of dance around the world. This is going to be the competition to watch."

"You think of the Olympics and how popular that is with the world's people." "It (Chinese Dance) is so unique a dance form and so powerful that it would be just a huge inspiration to everyone." "This traditional Chinese dance, as I have seen, is absolutely phenomenal and world-class. It combines not only what we think of as traditional martial arts and also the ballet-style, but goes much beyond that, to combine folk dance as well." Ms. Field pointed out that currently western society is relatively unfamiliar with Chinese traditional dance.

Ms. Field also mentioned that traditional Chinese Dance illustrates the power of not only physical strength and the ability of the dancers, but also shows a very unique strength of character, that comes through not only the individual dancer, but also shows the character of traditional Chinese Culture. For the uniqueness of Chinese traditional dance, Ms. Field said, "People just have to see to believe."

Ms. Field commented on the 2007 NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular after it toured around the world to thirty-three cities and presented more than eighty shows, "It (the Spectacular) has now been taken around the world and has expanded its audience as well as demonstrated its success. It has shown itself to be something people really need in their lives and want to have, knowing more about the Chinese culture and celebrating Chinese culture whether or not they are Chinese."

Ms. Field said, "I just cannot believe the success it has had in the last four years. I have to applaud NTDTV for doing such a wonderful job."

3. Dance Specialists in Canada Pay Attention to the Chinese Classical Dance Competition

The first International Chinese Classical Dance Competition inspired great interest and expectations among dance specialists in Canada. Heather Mitchell, who had toured around Europe with a dance company and was well received by the audience, along with her colleague expressed their expectations of Chinese Classical Dance when interviewed by the reporter.

Heather Mitchell, who is known as a dance specialist, is currently principal of the Claude Watson School for the Arts. Megan Schroeder is the dance teacher for the arts school. Their interest in Chinese Classical Dance originated from the 2007 NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular. She was fascinated with the music, dance, costumes and the set design in the Spectacular. She said that the history and the culture behind the dance is very appealing to her and her students, "I think that its appealing to students to hear the rhythm and the sound of the music, which can inspire them to move and feel the sensation. Also the story that comes with that movement is what I think is really appealing to us to see and hear."

Megan Schroeder, who teaches modern dance, said, "The one that impressed me the most would have to be the Mongolian Bowl Dance because it was something very new to me and I enjoyed watching how the women interacted with each other and how they used the bowls as well. It was very impressive to see how they could lend all their artistic abilities into that one dance." Ms. Schroeder feels that the NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular provided a good opportunity for her and her students to learn about the ancient oriental culture." "I think the efforts that have been made have been fabulous... I think that the efforts have been phenomenal."

After watching the introductory video for the Chinese Classical Dance Competition, Heather Mitchell said, "Well I was fortunate enough to view some elements of the Chinese classical dance and it strikes me that there are many similarities in the basic understanding of what dance is... and I look forward to hearing more about the dance itself and how it is articulated in an audience setting..."

Regarding the Dance Competition, Ms. Schroeder said, "A competition of this level really gives Chinese classical dance a voice I think, and also gives it a lot of credibility and also just makes people more aware..."