Jan 18, 2009

Divine Performing Arts
Arts commissioner Ms. Sambamurti at the Divine Performing Arts Chinese New Year Spectacular at Seattle's Paramount Theatre on Sunday. (Youzhi Ma/The Epoch Times)

SEATTLE--Arts commissioner Ms. Sambamurti, who attended Divine Performing Arts Chinese New Year Spectacular at Seattle's Paramount Theatre on Sunday, was highly impressed by the unique cultural show.

"I really enjoyed this performance and I'm really stunned by the exceptionally talented artists, musicians choreographers and dancers. Amazing!" she said.

Ms. Sambamurti is a teacher/lecturer on Indian art and a professionally trained vocalist and performer of classical Carnatic (southern Indian) music who has participated in a number of solo and ensemble performances in the U.S. Northwest, Canada and India.

She has formed bands with musicians in the Seattle area and in Vancouver, British Columbia, and given performances of popular songs from India. She has also written, directed and choreographed numerous productions for children based on the heritage and culture of her native India.

Ms. Sambamurti said that while she has seen many Chinese performances in and around King County, the DPA production is one-of-a-kind.

"I think this is unique in that the dancers express their emotions so beautifully through their movements and I was really impressed with the backdrop, the way it really blended so well with the performance. It made it appear as if the dancers came from the backdrop and they performed and then disappeared again into the backdrop. I really liked it."

The DPA orchestra is a "first" with its combination of Western and Chinese instruments, enabling it to use Western orchestral music as a foundation and yet to be rich in Chinese qualities, something Ms. Sambamurti appreciated.

"The music was amazing. I think I could see the blend of the Chinese classical music and Western classical music and the fusion was great. I could tell. I am an evaluator here, I have been to a lot of performances and the way that they blended Chinese classical music and Western classical music is amazing. It's beautiful, the experience is awesome. I have a lack of words to express my joy."

She was also impressed by the choreography and the costumes, which are all originally designed and hand made.

"The choreography was amazing the costumes were like 'oh my god.' I was wondering are they human?. So perfect. ... Each and every piece of the performance is so apt to the music, nothing was overdone. Everything is perfect."

She added that the dance, Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution, which tells of a father persecuted for practicing Falun Gong, a traditional spiritual practice rooted in ancient Chinese culture that was banned by the Chinese regime in 1999, was also "not overdone."

"It's done so subtly, it just involves the correct feelings of the audience members, even the audience members that are not aware of what is happening there. This piece brought tears to their eyes. I cried, I got tears in my eyes. We are all born into this free world and we can do what we like and follow what we want--we have the freedom but life is really short."

Source: http://en.epochtimes.com/n2/content/view/10576/