New Tang Dynasty TV put on seven grand performances at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on February 14-17, 2007. I was fortunate to join people of different backgrounds to witness the last performance. I indulged myself in the dazzling songs and dances, and it was indeed a feast for the soul before Chinese New Year's Day. The reaction from the people sitting around me greatly moved me. I just want to share some interesting stories from the show.
She Finally Clapped
One Chinese woman in her fifties came to the show with her Western friends, two women and one man, and they sat in front of me. Her friends applauded warmly after every program, yet the Chinese woman kept a poker face and flipped through the printed program book. When she saw an ad by The Epoch Times newspaper she said something to her friends while looking upset. Her friends were a little distracted from the show under her influence. The outstanding programs however, quickly won them back, and their applause became louder each time. Finally, the Chinese woman grew quiet and started paying attention to the show, only with her arms crossed in front of her chest.
When renowned soprano Bai Xue sang "Finding Truth,"
"So vast are heaven and earth;
Whither do people go?
Lost, the way is obscured;
Let truth be the compass.
When disaster descends,
It favours neither rich nor poor.
But there is a way out,
Quickly find what is true!"
The Chinese woman slowly uncrossed her arms and her indifferent look was replaced with a pensive look. Bai Xue repeated, "When disaster descends, It favours neither rich nor poor. But there is a way out, Quickly find what is true!"
She finally began clapping after the song ended. She kept saying to her friends, "Very good! Very good!"
He Cried and Cried
Qi Xiaochun played "Predestined Relationship" on the erhu, an ancient two-stringed Chinese instrument that can produce an amazingly wide range of notes and express rich emotions. Qi Xiaochun's adept skills made it a highly enjoyable experience. "Predestined Relationship" reveals an invisible tie that comes from infinity and reaches all beings. It is firmly connected to everyone who must make his/her own life choices as they are unfolding right now.
A Western couple sitting to my left in the row ahead of me took off their glasses and wiped away tears as they heard this amazing music. The woman handed her husband a tissue. The husband couldn't stop crying, and his wife kept handing him tissues. The husband was a little embarrassed and smiled at his wife, who nodded understandingly and held his left hand in her right hand until the end of the show. They smiled through tears and applauded warmly.
He Watched the Whole Show in the Heshi Posture
The program "A Dunhuang Dream" tells the story of a pious sculptor who received revelations from the gods and Buddhas in his dream, which helped him create statues in the famous Dunhuang Cave.
The plot is simple. A sculptor in ancient China vowed to create 1,000 statues of Buddhas and gods in order to express his reverence. He worked day and night and eventually ran out of ideas. He became tired and fell asleep next to a Buddha statue. In his dream, the Buddha statues came to life and revealed themselves in sacred and magnificent postures. The sculptor was stunned, and knelt before the Buddhas. As the Buddhas and gods constantly changed position he couldn't help but move among them while observing and imitating them. When he had remembered the form of the Buddhas and Gods, they slowly turned back into stones, and the sculptor came back to reality. Inspired, he immediately picked up his chisel and continued his work. According to legend, this is how the Dunhuang Cave of 1,000 Buddhas came into existence.
A young Chinese man who sat to my right in front of me, at first slouched in his seat, perhaps exhausted from a hard day of work. When the Buddhas and gods came to life and danced in marvellous movements that defy description, and the sculptor was stunned and knelt before the Buddhas, this young man suddenly sat up straight and pressed his hands together in front of his chest in the heshi posture. He stayed in this posture until the end of the whole show that night.
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