Background information: Li Jianqiang, whose pen name is Liu Lu, is a well known Chinese lawyer who defends human rights. He was born in 1964 and graduated from the Department of Chinese Language at the People's University of China. His works include "Rights-defending Lawyer: a Dangerous Profession" and "Searching for Tomorrow's Morning Glow." Mr. Li came to temporarily reside in the United States in September 2008.

Li Jianqiang is a Chinese lawyer who is well known for defending human rights. On the Eve of the 2009 Chinese New Year he watched two Divine Performing Arts (DPA) shows in a row at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. He stated that DPA really deserves its name; that the pure, beautiful arts DPA presents is inspiring and brings revelation to life. Mr. Li felt that his mind, body and soul were purified. He was completely in awe of the show.

Chinese lawyer Li Jianqiang

A reporter interviewed Mr. Li. The following are his words as recorded during the interview.

"I am a person with very sharp aesthetic judgment, and I tend to be critical when watching art performances. It would be rare for me to be moved to tears by any art form. Even though I heard good words about DPA before, I just couldn't believe anyone would shower it with such extreme rave reviews. I didn't believe human beings could produce any show deserving such high praise.

This time I was fortunate enough to watch two shows in a row in New York. And I came to realize that the DPA show is flawless in terms of its artistic skills and that the high caliber it demonstrates is far beyond the human imagination. The messages it delivers and the profound meaning it carries exceed man's intellectual comprehension. I must admit I am deeply moved by and completely in awe of DPA. I couldn't stop my tears both times I watched the show."

Such Scenes Should Only Be Seen in Heaven

"What struck me first during the show was the stunning beauty of the DPA's artistic presentation, which felt like a lotus flower coming out of water without any secular trace, with a peculiar beauty. The dance movements were either swift and enthusiastic or slow, elegant and superb, deeply touching people's hearts. The live music played by the orchestra mixing Oriental and Western elements, as well as the vocal performances by the singers, sounded like heavenly melodies, gently comforting the audience like a Spring breeze. The digital backdrop was magnificent, grand and picturesque. Every costume looked so natural and bright, elegant and harmonious--really pleasant to the eye. The transition from program to program was very smooth, with dances, music, costumes, lights and scenes all coordinated seamlessly. Every program was meticulously designed, delicate and beautiful, which appeals to both cultured and popular tastes--thrilling.

Mulan Joins the Battle is a story I knew well since I was little so I never expected I would be touched much by it. However, to my surprise, I was moved to tears by the dance presentation of Mulan.

The story begins in a quiet village filled with pink peach flowers and green willow trees. Mulan and her peers are busy embroidering various projects. The background music is slow and gentle. Not long after, the music suddenly changes to high-pitch notes with a quick tempo. A majestic Great Wall and flames coming out of it and shooting to the sky then appears on the digital backdrop. A war breaks out and many countrymen join the battle. The projections then takes the audience to the battlefield, where soldiers fight on horseback. After ten years of battle, many of them die and the surviving ones return home. The music slows down again and brings us back to Mulan's quite and peaceful home village where her father awaits her return.

The dance plot is full of suspense, the atmosphere of tension and relaxation is in order. In just a few minutes, a complicated story and the character's inner world are expressed vividly. A young woman has to make a decision between being filial to her father and being loyal to her country. If she joins the battle, she won't be able to take care of her father. If she stays home to take care of her father, she won't be able to help the country defeat the invaders. She eventually decides to fight the battle on behalf of her elderly father. Her sacrifice for the country and her affection for her father are fully shown with the dancer's body movements, arousing people's emotions with a sympathetic chord.

I was also drawn to another program called The Poet's Vision, depicting one of the most famous ancient poets, Li Bai. Before I saw the show, I had no idea how one could interpret with dance the artistic realm in which Li Bai wrote hundreds of poems in one sitting after getting drunk. However, when the curtain opened, I was surprisingly delighted to see a giant and bright full moon in the pure blue sky appear on the digital backdrop. Spotted next to a bunch of yellow flowers on a big rock was the drunk poet, dressed in white. More surprise came when a group of celestial maidens flew out of the pavilions on the moon, and gently landed on the earth. They began to dance elegantly, bringing the audience to a heavenly world. Then the poet danced with the feeling of being drunk, wielding a brush and extemporaneously writing poems. The dance movements were smooth and elegant, like a jade tree in the wind. At this point, Li Bai was no longer a vague shadow behind his well-known poems, but a live person with blood and flesh, and with body and soul. Li Bai is alive!

The curtain went up and down, showing scene after scene that clearly depicted the dreamlike beautiful pictures of heaven and earth. All words pale in front of the scenes. Such scenes could only be seen in heaven above."

A Brand New Culture

"I am not a democracy advocate, but I do get together with them sometimes. The other day we reunited again at Harvard University. After one day's meeting, we threw a party at night. We sang a lot of songs together. In the end, it seemed as if we ran out of songs to sing. Someone then sang a song promoted by the Communist Party. As a matter of fact, this person is resentful of the Party; however, he still remembered to sing a Party song on the soil of the United States. I'm not kidding. The Party culture is deeply rooted in the Chinese people's minds and it's extremely difficult to get rid of it.

Before the show, I was a bit worried that it would eventually involve certain Party culture. After all, the Communist Party has been ruling China for over 60 years; how could it be possible for anyone to escape its influence? But I was truly amazed to find so many songs and dances completely free of the Party culture and full of our traditional culture. I saw a realm that was both traditional and brand new.

Benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faithfulness are core virtues long cherished in traditional Chinese culture, and [they] can often be found in our parents' generation, in pristine folk culture and community relationships. However, under the Communist Party's rule, such virtues have almost all been destroyed. I am delighted to see that DPA has rooted itself in such virtues, the best and most beautiful elements of our traditional culture, and demonstrated these virtues in its show in the best way possible--presenting a scene where people and heaven and earth co-exist peacefully.

DPA is purely truthful, purely compassionate and purely beautiful. I can assure you that DPA will be welcomed the same way in mainland China if given a chance to perform."

Reveals the Origin of Life and the Origin of the Chinese Culture

"The artistic elegance of the DPA certainly awakened me. However, the profound meaning and truth it delivers really struck me to the core.

Belief in and worship of Gods and Buddhas has long existed in traditional Chinese culture, and many ancient literary and artistic works have embraced such belief. I've found that such works often have a great caliber and are well accepted by people, especially intellectuals. Take my father as an example. He is a CCP member. However, every time we celebrate Chinese holidays, he will worship ancestors, Gods and Buddhas. My mother is even more respectful to Gods. I'm sure she believes Gods are in charge of our fate. The first thought I had when watching the show was to bring my parents to see it in the future. I have no doubt they're going to enjoy the show.

The first time when I watched the first program of the show, The Five Millennia Begin, I felt it was using the grand palaces, beautiful gardens and wonderful music in heaven to describe the origin of our Chinese culture. I viewed such artistic presentation as a symbol of our cultural origin. Yes, human beings are the soul of everything on earth and are the noblest existence on this planet. How [could] we [have] evolved from monkeys? A monkey killed several fish with a stone, ate them and then developed their brains and evolved into human beings? Isn't that ridiculous? If you claim our civilization originated from monkeys that drank blood and ate raw meat, aren't you mocking our culture of 5,000 years?

The second time when I saw the first program, I felt a powerful and mysterious force revealing a truth to me: in the boundless universe, even though human beings are at a low level and humble, our souls are indeed from higher realms.

In the largest theater in the world that can seat 6,000 people, viewers of different races and ethnicities enjoyed the show together and gave rousing applause. What was being presented was not only beauty in a certain art form, but it touched the spiritual side of everyone, which is what everyone is looking and yearning for.

DPA tells us that our soul, mind and culture have a higher origin and our Chinese culture originated from heaven. Such revelation is no doubt a huge elevation to our soul. This also explained a myth in my mind: "Where do the kindness, love, wisdom and desire to seek good things within us come from? Where does the thing we are looking for come from?"

Legend of the Brush lets us know that the brush came into existence after our ancestors received revelations from higher beings. Such an interpretation is reasonable in logic and makes us even more proud of the dignity of our Chinese nation. Of course, different people have different opinions. Regardless of whether you enjoy the show from the perspective of culture or belief, you can still feel pleasant and become inspired for life.

A lot of things about DPA are unbelievable to me. Be it dances, music, costume or digital backdrop, the beauty displayed is always breath-taking and exceeding people's imagination. The heavenly scene and the giant spinning Wheel at the beginning and the end of the show made me wonder where such beyond human wisdom came from.

When I learned that those original grand master-class art works are all from Falun Gong practitioners, that so many highly skilled DPA artists who are one in a million are all cultivators, and that DPA has three companies and two orchestras touring the world, I was very surprised and full of great admiration for such a group that has been persecuted for nine years. How could they achieve this? Well accepted by the audience, they are called "miracles in the performance circle." I can tell DPA has a sacred force."


"The part of the show that moved me most were two dance programs depicting the plight of Falun Gong practitioners. For instance, in Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution, a once happy family of three was broken, with the husband arrested and beaten to death for his belief. Because of my profession, I am all too familiar with what's depicted in this program. It's not exaggerating at all. Such a tragedy is happening every day in mainland China.

I have a relative who graduated from Tsinghua University and works in a local Appeals Office. He told me that the biggest headache he had was to follow orders to harass practitioners. They had to take away practitioners' property and disrupt their normal lives. They had to arrest or beat people, no matter whether they were still practicing or not, appealing or not. He couldn't make any sense of such a policy and was disgusted by it.

I had a client whose daughter, Huang Xing, was arrested and sent to a labor camp several times. The third time the daughter was sent to a labor camp, she died not long after she was summoned to the guards' office. The guards present told me the death would be treated as a result of a car accident and her family would be compensated based on such a conclusion. I questioned them about the young woman having died in their office, not on the road, and why her death was treated as a car accident. They replied it was an order from above. Later her family requested that an autopsy be done on her body, but it was denied. The police insisted on cremating her body. I represented the family, but from the lower courts to higher courts, no judge dared to try the case.

As far as I know, the number of practitioners persecuted to death is over 3,000. It's only the tip of the iceberg. Facing similar tragedies that are happening every day, we gradually become numb. Before watching the show, I felt I already did enough by defending practitioners in court or writing articles to say a few just words for them. Sometimes I even found fault with those who stood up to strongly condemn the persecution.

However, when DPA depicted such a tragedy on the largest stage in the world, I was shaken and awakened! The regime that persecutes such a group of kind people is simply too evil. I feel that everyone who tolerates such a persecution should be ashamed that this tragedy occurs in our motherland. As intellectuals, we should feel even more shameful that we are still living in fear, numbness and indifference. We are in fact offending the heaven and gods. While such a tragedy is unfolding, everyone has a heavy cross on his back. If we still fail to tell good from evil, and still help the evil do evil, we are in grave danger!

What moved me even more was that the story did not end in violence. Instead, it had the victim ascend to heaven to become a Buddha and his life become immortal. In another program Dignity and Compassion, when gods were about to punish the evildoers, the beaten practitioner used his compassion and tolerance to awaken their conscience."

For Whom Are They Enduring Hardships?

"In Giving You Hope, the soprano sang, "For whom are we bearing hardships despite harsh weather? Standing on the corner of the streets are Dafa disciples with flyers in hand..." As I listened, tears ran down my face.

The song is a true depiction of the facts. In Manhattan, Dafa practitioners stand there for over 10 hours every day to pass out flyers and newspapers, rain or shine. When I pass by, I usually take a flyer and say thank you. I felt it's not easy for them to do this, and I was sympathetic of them.

The show reminded me of those practitioners in China who are not afraid of beatings and jail and risk their lives to appeal for Falun Gong and tell people the truth. Of course, the DPA performers that work hard touring the world to spread wonderfulness, hope and light are also part of the group.

Why are they doing all these things? I couldn't make sense [of it] in the past.

Now that I watched the show, I began to understand them. They are not asking for returns, nor are they doing anything for themselves. Even though we remain mute or mock them when it comes to their plight inflicted by the CCP, they have no hatred and resentment. All they do is to bring us the truth with compassion, help us escape bad fortune and point us to a road full of hope. Their persistence and sacrifice are just for us, who are still feeling content about ourselves.

What a group of people! Their forbearance and realm make me feel ashamed of myself and also deeply moved me."

Blessings from Gods

"I have a strong wish after watching the show, that is, when can we have the opportunity to have DPA perform in China. That would provide a chance for everyone there to think and judge for themselves the following questions: What kind of people are able to produce such a show full of righteousness and wonderfulness? What kind of people can perform such an exquisite and exceptionally beautiful show? Are they beneficial or harmful to the country and the people? Who is good or evil, they or the regime who persecutes them? DPA will give everyone a chance to choose a new life.

DPA not only gave me the pure, beautiful enjoyment of an art performance, but also purged my mind and soul and pointed out a path for me--a person who had been struggling in the maze. DPA let me realize that we are children of Gods and we should choose a better future. When we walk on the path of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and stay away from fighting for our own interests, we can enter a higher realm, even heaven.

In this sense, DPA is a benevolent blessing from the Lord, who is using the art form to reveal the heaven we're supposed to go to. Those who are able to enjoy it are truly blessed and fortunate."