(Clearwisdom.net) Divine Performing Arts (DPA) performed at the Northrop Memorial Auditorium in Minneapolis on February 3rd and 4th. DPA showcases traditional Chinese culture through art, dance, song, costuming, story-telling, and music. Influences from different dynasties and and regions of China are celebrated, as are traditional themes such as beauty, spirituality, and unity.
The audience in the packed theater gave the performers a standing ovation. Those in the audience were from varied backgrounds, and many were happy to stop and give their impressions of the show before leaving the theater.
Professor Kagan was one such audience member. He is a historian, and his interests include human rights, China, and Korea. Here is what he had to say about the show, "It's a wonderful show! I've enjoyed it very much. I've seen many shows. I really like the emphasis on the Tang Dynasty and on Chinese tradition and culture."
Professor Kagan said he got involved in Chinese history 50 years ago because he loves Chinese culture. He also said he believes that Chinese culture has recently become more nationalistic and less aesthetic. In his view, Divine Performing Arts has presented Chinese culture in a way that celebrates its aesthetic values. He went on to say, "The program is really wonderful because it gives many different views of what Chinese history is about. It is not about just one view; it shows the tremendous aesthetic-ness of the Chinese people--in terms of their dance [and] in terms of their various forms of dance." He continued, "It also shows how much they love their history and how much these traditions still have meaning to them now, as they did then, and how they have meaning to us as well."
Professor Kagan also appreciated the digital backdrops that were part of the show, "The use of technology is fantastic--with having the screen bringing the figures up into [the] heavens and coming down again." And he was impressed that the show "can bring together all the technological advances with the traditional dancing."
Professor Kagan's favorite part of the show was the drumming. "The drumming scene ... had so much elasticity in it. People beating the drum in a different way,"
"The Dances are Stimulating and Very Profound"
Mr. Antoni, a middle school teacher, came with a group of 20 students. "It is excellent!" he exclaimed, "I really enjoyed the Dragon Springs Drummers."
Mr. Antoni, a middle school teacher, brought a group of 20 students. (from The Epoch Times)
Mrs. Antoni also shared her thoughts. "It's really astounding how graceful the dancers are! The dances are stimulating and very profound... All the dances and the scenes are just really profound and moving. It's so moving! I [felt] the emotion [in] the performance 'Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution.'"
The dance "Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution" tells of a father who is persecuted for practicing Falun Gong (a spiritual practice that originated in China). The tragic scenes that unfold in this piece present a message of hope and bespeak of a longstanding Chinese belief that good people are ultimately rewarded, if not in this lifetime.
"I think [this piece] is really relevant, especially [because of] how many people don't understand the turmoil that's taking place in China today. They just see it as one-faceted. It's one thing to see it on the news, but it's another to see it here."
Mrs. Antoni said she felt that the performance represented "the beautiful faith of the Chinese people. It's just stunning--the faith and the endurance of the Chinese people! Thank you so much!"
"Just Gorgeous to Look at!"
Mrs. Chihos is Vice President of Admissions at a Cosmetology School. She came with her husband, a manager in construction, to see the show. This is what she had to say about the show, "The costumes were sparkling, just gorgeous to look at! There was always something to look at, and the people were beautiful--perfect!" Mrs. Chihos was amazed by the dancing in the show. "It was just incredible how their bodies moved, they just looked like they were floating." She said, "Especially the dances where they were persecuted for their religion. You could really see how that happened and how they can still came through in the end--in their expressions and in the dancing."