Celebrating the Holidays with Chinese Dance and Music
We opened our 2012 Season Tuesday night in Waterbury, Connecticut. It may sound cliché to say it, but despite the cold, the audience’s enthusiastic applause warmed our hearts.
Right from the start, the audience was astounded by the high technical skills of the Qing Dynasty imperial guards jumping, tumbling, flying across the stage. Dancing with tai chi fans that open with a crisp snap! their fluid movements reveal inner strength, a key aspect of classical Chinese dance.
I think for the audience, it was almost akin to watching martial arts movies being reenacted on stage, without the stunt wires, of course.
Before the second half was about to start, the theater manager’s daughter, Viola, was pulling her father into the audience. “Daddy c’mon! The second half is about to start! We don’t want to miss it!” The little girl was enthralled by the show, and enjoyed all the subtleties from our jokes. And we enjoyed her charming presence backstage.
I could tell that the audience was really drawn to the show’s cultural content, which spans from ancient China right up to today. They were also captivated by my emcee partner Leeshai’s Chinese, laughing and clapping spontaneously after he recited a poem in Mandarin.
The season premiere was great encouragement for all the artists, especially after finishing a tight rehearsal schedule that included a final dress rehearsal on Christmas Day. Although most of the performers spent the holidays away from our families, I think there’s no better way to celebrate the holidays than sharing beautiful culture with new friends around the world.
January 4, 2012