看過一月三十一日晚會的Chiff.com網站的娛樂評論者十歲的吉姆斯(James)和母親羅絲 (Mary Rose)則分別向其讀者推薦晚會。



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編譯 ◎ 徐竹思


看過一月三十一日晚會的Chiff.com網站的娛樂評論者十歲的吉姆斯(James)和母親羅絲 (Mary Rose)則分別向其讀者推薦晚會。






Chinese New Year Splendor

What James says: We went to see The Chinese New Year Splendor, at Radio City Music Hall. I really thought it was pretty awesome. I would definitely recommend it to other kids my age.

The dancing was really cool but my favorite parts without a doubt were the drummers and the erhu solo. I thought the "Victory Drums", "Chopstick Zest", and "Drummers of The Tang Court", were really powerful. The drums are an important part of Chinese culture and you really get why when you see, and hear them up close. You can actually feel the music pounding through your body.

The erhu is like a two-string violin that is held vertically, on the lap of the person playing it. There is no fingerboard for finding the right key, and the strings are pressed but shouldn't touch the neck. I imagine it is a very hard instrument to learn how to play.

Do you know why there are twelve years of the traditional Chinese Lunar Calendar? Or why they are named after animals? Well according to legend the Chinese Zodiac is named for the 12 animals that responded to Buddha's call. They arrived in this order: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog and boar.

Each year in the 12-year cycle is named after one of these animals. In the Chinese culture if you are born in the year of a certain animal then you have sort of the same personality traits as that animal. So I guess being a Rat isn't all that bad, because they are respected for their cleverness, ambition, leadership skills and sociability.

The Year of the Rat holds a place of honor as the first in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. This year is the year of the Rat. Chinese New Year usually occurs anywhere from late January to mid-February. It is the most significant holiday in Chinese culture.

What Mom Says : I have heard some complaints about the show being a three hour long propaganda fest. Throughout you are reminded that the Chinese people, in spite of a totalitarian government, remain guided by the principles of "truthfulness, compassion and forbearance". My take is simply this, anytime you have a cultural show that showcases history, spirituality, artistic expression and social issues you run the risk of being labeled propaganda. However, if you go to the show and view it as it was meant to be seen then you come away with the feeling of having experienced a richly entertaining, visually pleasing, cultural encounter that hopefully delights and charms. You may take from it whatever lessons you desire, if you learn a little something about the culture then that is all the better.

For us The Chinese New Year Splendor was a marvelous experience. It is a journey into China's past, where myths and legends mixed with reality every day. It is a spectacular array of classical Chinese performing arts. Mesmerizing dancers accompanied by a full orchestra and supported by dazzling, high-tech imagery. The visually stunning stage experience of dances, songs, and symphony opened the door for us to come away with a greater knowledge or at least appreciation of Chinese culture, history, folklore, and the arts.

Dance is at the heart of this great production, with both the male and female dancers exhibiting the various disciplines, the female dancers appeared to float around the stage; most dances reflect lightness and grace, they demonstrate multiple talents with vigorous jumps and dazzling spins. A large contingent of Mongolian men beat out intricate rhythms with bunches of wooden chopsticks, as they imitate the movements of eagles and horses. The colors, costumes, and flowing materials that were incorporated into the dances were as much a part of the show as the artists. Everything was in English as well as Chinese, you are guided through the program by two hosts who introduce each scene and share the bilingual introductions. There were a few times during the show when the emcees would ask questions of the audience to encourage audience participation; and even teach a few Chinese words.

All in all this show is a wonderful introduction to the outstandingly rich Chinese culture. I believe it is really worth seeing; by the 8-and-up crowd. I will say that for youngsters it was a bit too long, the show was 3 hours long and started at 7:30pm. There were a few too many solo performances, that were slow moving and you could see the younger audiences attention wandering. We did not see the "Chinese New Year" experience, per se. So if you are looking for the dancing dragons and fast paced "New Year" tempo that is not what The Chinese New Year Splendor delivers. The Chinese New Year Splendor is presented by Divine Performing Arts, which employs some two hundred performers, including dancers, soloists and musicians with an impressive display of scenery. Radio City Music Hall has one of the largest indoor LCD screens; it reaches across the entire width of the great stage. The visual 3D animation integrated into the projections brings lifelike dimension to breathtaking vistas, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, blossoming gardens, pagodas and temples that serve as backdrops for the many dances and musical numbers.






I do not, as a rule, do theater reviews on these pages… but I feel compelled to make an exception. This past Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of watching the Chinese New Year’s show Splendor presented by Divine Performance Arts, at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Being well aware of China’s penchant for unbelievable color combinations I expected a magical pageantry filled with superb choreography and the recreation of ancient legends. I was not quite prepared for what I saw, however. While the colors of the background, the colors of the costumes, the powerful yet graceful movements of the dancers more than lived up to my expectations there was more…

The unexpected element came as a total surprise, it consisted of injecting politics into a performance of dance and music in a format we rarely see in the West, in ways only art forms can so powerfully express. Through song (in Chinese, with English subtitles running on the background screen), and through dance the message of oppression by the current leaders of mainland China was fully conveyed, subtly at first, openly and forcefully at the end.

Tracey Zhu from The Epoch Times. approached us during intermission. She is a delightful interviewer whose charm, warmth and skill got us to express our feelings both on the political message and the greatness of the performance itself. She is a very charming young woman, indeed.

The choreography showed women as beautiful, graceful and delightfully feminine. Men were portrayed as powerful yet sensitive… just as the genders were meant to be before the roles and attitudes blurred as in today’s society. The political message of the regime’s persecution of the Falun Gong benefited from the pageantry as it crescendoed from its initial subtleness into a very powerful finale!

Among the many great parts of this show I must single at least out a few. Xiaochun Qi performance on the erhoo, a Chinese instrument, at times reminded me of a human cry and touched me deeply; tenor Hong Min’s powerful, lyrical voice reachedfar within the innermost fabric of his listeners. The Nymphs of the Sea and Water Sleeves segments made ample use of silk to mimic the movement of water with unexpected realism. Forsythia in Spring, beautifully, gracefully and delicately portrayed the blooming forsythia - ying chun hua - as it welcomed the spring. The dancers movements and their symbolism wove a message of hope and renewal. The final segment, Victory Drums powerfully reinforced the message of hope and final overcoming the evil of the current ruling elite.

Over all, it was a delightful evening filled with beauty, splendor, hope and power! Bravo, bravissimo! ◇

二月六日紐約新唐人華人新年晚會觀眾:著名攝影師福瑞曼(James Fraiman)和現做圖案設計師的考恩費爾得(Sherry Kornfeld)。(攝影/徐竹思)


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