Golden Li's dance 'Traveling in the Dao'(Edward Dai/The Epoch Times) NEW YORK--The third annual International Classical Chinese Dance Competition took place today at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Manhattan. Hosted by the international television station New Tang Dynasty Television, the competition drew contestants from all over the world--62 in total--from as far away as Taiwan, Australia, and South Korea.
On Saturday, a select few will enter the semi-finals, and the finals will be held on Sunday. The contestants will be displaying their knowledge of traditional Chinese dance before a panel of six judges, all graduates of the top dance schools in China and Taiwan.
Since most entrants are on a similar skill level, the emphasis in this year's contest will be on performance, rather than technical skill, according to judge Yungchia Chen. "They are all technically advanced, so we will see how steady their movements are, and who adapts on the stage the best," he said.
Judge Vina Lee also stresses this point, and adds, "In the case that contestants can fully display the movements, and when they meet the requirements, they will be judged on their steadiness, the cleanness of movements, and their sense of music. There will be a lot of artistic competition."
Chinese Dance Briefing
With 5,000 years of history, the scope of Chinese classical dance is broad and profound. Dancers can portray a variety of characters through this form of dance. The flips, spins, and tumbling techniques of Chinese dance render the dance more complex and expressive than any other dance form.
A defining characteristic of classical Chinese dance is its ability to convey a character's internal landscape and storyline. Through their movements, dancers are able to express the spirit of what they are portraying--this is called "bearing." Eyes, hands, form, and step, along with spirit, strength, and rhythm, are some key components in Chinese dance.
For example, the adult male division's Golden Li performed a piece titled "Courage." In this dance, he depicts a soldier who is injured in battle, and returns to the battle to continue fighting. Contestant Gary Liu's dance, "Traveling in the Tao," also expresses the strong will of the main character--a Taoist cultivator. "While dancing I thought of a cultivator continuing in the toughest of circumstances," Liu said. "I aimed to express that feeling [of determination]."
Jennifer Su's dance 'Fairy of the Phoenix' (Edward Dai/The Epoch Times) The adult female division's Jennifer Su performed a piece she calls "Fairy of the Phoenix." She explains: "The phoenix in ancient China is a very sacred mystical bird. It is at once noble yet carefree, as it lives in the air." To display that takes a nuanced and careful study of classical Chinese dance.
On to the Semi-Finals
To the contestants who will be continuing on to the semi-finals, Chen Yungchia offers the following advice: "On stage, nothing beats a calm and steady psyche. A lot of contestants are actually very skilled, but appear shaky, touch the ground, or slip, that's because they get nervous."
Participants are classified into junior female division, junior male division, adult female division, and adult male division. The annual competition is open to all dance teachers and dancers from professional arts academies. The age range of junior division is 13-17 and the age range for the adult division is 18-40.
Per contest regulations, they must each perform a short piece to self-selected music and another containing a set of required dance techniques, consisting of leaps, turns, flip, and control, plus tumbling techniques.
Angelia Wang (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Dao-Yong Cheng (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Lily Wang (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Xiya Li (Berlin, Germany)
Alina Wang (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Faustina Quach (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Miranda Zhou-Galati (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Selena Ren (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Alison Chen (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Chialing Chen (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Alvin Song (New Jersey, USA)
Fengnian Liang (Edmonton, Canada)
Chad Chen ((Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Ben Chen (London, UK)
Jason Zhu (Toronto, Canada)
William Li (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Rocky Liao (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Tony Xue (Feitian Academy of the Arts)
Zan Sun (Hamilton, New Zealand)
Henry Huang (Chiayi, Taiwan)
Ting-Jie Huang (Taipei, Taiwan)
Yingzi Qi (New York, USA)
Jennifer Su (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Madeleine Lobjois (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Anna Li (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Rachael Bastick (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Chelsea Cai (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Cindy Liu (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Sharon Gao (New Zealand)
Xing Wu (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Leon Chao (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Jason King (New York, USA)
Weijia Lai (Maryland, USA)
Kokuei Chen (Maryland, USA)
Alex Chun (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Brian Nieh (Washington DC, USA)
Seongho Cha (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Steve Wang (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Jerry Zhang (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Ming Liu (Los Angeles, USA)
Golden Li (Shen Yun Performing Arts)
The Tribeca Performing Arts Center
199 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007, U.S.A.
Semi-finals: Saturday, June 20
Finals: Sunday, June 21
Tickets for the dance competition and any of NTDTV's other eight competitions are available at http://competitions.ntdtv.com/ticket