Film Star Expresses Admiration

On Saturday night February 28 at the Taipei International Convention Center, renowned Asian film star Shen Hairong attended Divine Performing Arts (DPA) performance.

After joining China Television Company in 1978, Ms. Shen started her glorious career in acting. She played leading roles in various films and drama series, including The Hospital (2006), Lover of Herb (2004), La Peinter (1994), Shy Spirit (1992), A Spray of Plum Blossom (1984), and The Way to Happiness (1980).

"It's my first time to see such a stunning performance in Taiwan. It feels really new. The most surprising thing was the 3-D backdrops and the live performers meshed into one--this was very impressive. I liked the feeling," said Ms. Shen after watching DPA.

"I had hoped that every program could have been extended a bit, so that I could keep on clapping."

DPA's message was very clear to her. "As long as we have compassion in our hearts, divine beings will ... help us."

"The depiction of ancient stories combined with Buddhas and Gods and the stage presentation of our shared dreams truly surprised me."

Ms. Shen said that in the future she will never miss a single DPA show in Taiwan.

Director of Taiwan Normal University College of Art: Outstanding dance skills convey traditional Chinese culture

Lin Changde, the Director of Taiwan Normal University College of Art, felt the extraordinary skills of the performers faithfully communicate the values of traditional Chinese culture. He said, "What impressed me the most was that the programs conveyed the feeling that Buddhas and Gods are taking care of people. I think it's an incredibly wonderful performance."

Mr. Lin specializes in the study of arts, and he emphasized how the stage design perfectly complemented the performances. "The images on the screen connected with the stage and served to accentuate the chemistry among the dancers. The production was just a miracle!"

He also commented on the difference between classical Chinese dance and Western dance, noting that the former showcases an artistic mastery perfected through the ages. "The arrangement of the landscape on the backdrop, the color effects and structures were amazing, especially the costumes with flowing sleeves and flares on dresses, which gives an ethereal quality and gracefulness. For example, in one scene where the performer flew toward the backdrop, then an animated figure on the backdrop flew into the moon--the transition was seamless and ingenious!"

The program that moved him the most was "Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution." "The parents appeared on the stage with their child--a perfect picture of bliss. And then the father is taken away and killed. The portrayal of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) persecution and the dancers' movements showed the power of compassion, and it left a deep imprint on my mind."

Lin Changde was born in Songzhu Village, Lucao Township, Jiayi County, Taiwan. He captured the top prize in two categories at the 1973 painting contests held at Taiwan Normal University College of Art, including the Watercolor Competition and the Sculpture Competition. The following year, he won first place at the Chinese Painting Division of Taiwan Art Exhibit.

Renowned Photographer: Divine Performing Arts Purifies the Heart

In the audience also sat Mr. Li Songmao, fondly known as a "national treasure" in photographry in Taiwan.

After studying with an internationally renowned photographer, Lang Jingshan (1892-1995), Mr. Li is now the only man in Taiwan honored with the World Photographers Association titles "excellent photographer" and "outstanding photographer" awards. He is particularly outstanding at shooting landscapes and has trained many well-known photographers.

Dressed in Tang Dynasty attire, Mr. Li said, "I admire DPA. It purified my heart."

Renowned photographer Mr. Li Songmao

"DPA's performance exquisitely displayed China's ancient culture. I strongly suggest that all photographers come and watch DPA. The entire performance is worth studying, exploring, and understanding deeply.

"Because I research colors, I think the interaction and coordination between the dancers and the backdrops were impressive, particularly the change of backdrops between programs. It was very different and unique compared to ordinary performances. The programs' dynamic levels were carefully adjusted."

"Whenever I have a chance, I will definitely come back," he said.

Vocalist: Original Dance, Music, and Costumes Revive Eastern Art

Vocalist Wu Qiuxuan, who saw DPA for the first time, said she was moved that the company is able to revive Chinese culture. "We are all Chinese, and there's an increasing trend to study classic Western culture, but where is our five millenia of civilization? It's a shame. Now a group of people have brought it back and made it fashionable. It's fantastic!"

Wu Qiuxuan currently teaches voice at Xindian High School in Taipei, and her students won first place at an East District Solo Singing Competition in Taipei. She has worked with Kaohsiung Symphony and Taipei Symphony and is an instructor at Shengjia Allied Choir and a member of the Republic of China's Vocalists Association. She expressed appreciation for the Divine Performing Arts' innovative music and costumes. "Our teaching consists of mostly Western art, and Chinese traditions have been largely ignored in the modern era. I am quite moved to be able to see young performers who are so incredbily talented and skilled, who move flawlessly from the stage to the backdrop and then back to the stage. It's great!

"The orchestra performed some elements of Chinese music but also combined some Western numbers. I think it's extraordinary!"

Wu Qiuxuan said that he performance had helped her find the direction to steer students toward in classical Chinese arts.