The 2008 Global Chinese New Year Spectacular, presented by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), will soon be arriving on stage. As many as 650,000 viewers will have a chance to watch the performances. NTDTV and Divine Performing Arts are giving the world's people an opportunity to enjoy true traditional Chinese culture.
The performances embody the spirit and inner beauty of traditional Chinese culture
China's traditional culture is broad and profound, with an emphasis on the spirit within, rather than what is on the surface. For example, Chinese painting stresses the "portrayal of inner meaning," while traditional Chinese dance emphasises "uniting the spirit and movement as one, using the spirit to guide the movements, and the movements to convey the spirit."
There is a saying about traditional Chinese writing, that "one should write to convey principle." Traditional Chinese vocal music stresses "conveying spirit," so that "the sound can be heard three days after the singer is finished."
One classic example is the story of Confucius learning how to play the qin [a traditional Chinese stringed instrument]. As Confucius advanced in his proficiency, he first learned the technique, then he sought to grasp the music's meaning, and in the end he was able to visualize the composer's spirit and moral character. This story is a good example of how Chinese culture sees technique and outward expression as the first steps towards mastery.
Divine Performing Arts performances combine China's traditional art forms with modern technology. These performances integrate classical music, traditional dance, stunning backdrops, intricate stage designs, and other elements to convey the essence of Chinese culture.
The dances are based on stories from China's various dynasties, such as "Mulan" from the Han Dynasty, "Divine Messenger" and "Victory Drums" from the Tang Dynasty, "The Loyalty of Yue Fei" from the Song Dynasty and "Ladies of the Manchu Court" from the Qing Dynasty. The dances are also based on the cultures of China's different ethnic groups; the "Dai Dances," "Mongolian Dances," and "Tibetan Dances" each represent a unique ethnic tradition. They are authentic, from the costumes to the stories that they tell.
During an interview, NTDTV President Li Zhong said, "Divine Performing Arts performances convey purity, kindness and beauty, which can inspire people's longing for goodness from the depths of their hearts. As the performances promote traditional art, they resonate deeply with our audiences."
Reviving China's traditional culture and national spirit
China's traditional culture emphasizes reverence for gods and the Heavens, abiding by moral standards, and examining one's own conduct. This requires paying attention to moral character while pursuing knowledge. In ancient China, scholars emphasized meditation. Before studying, the scholars needed to calm their minds and regulate their breathing.
In their personal cultivation, the ancient Chinese people stressed "re-examining oneself three times a day" (Zeng Shen, a student of Confucius), "cultivating one's noble spirit" (Mencius), "incessantly improving oneself," "having boundless virtue to benefit the world" (from The Book of Changes - Tao de Ching).
Confucianism advocates "compassion, loyalty, propriety, wisdom, trustworthiness, devotion, filial piety, integrity, obedience to the older brothers." (The initial five qualities are the well-known "Five Basic Virtues") These principles are the basic moral criteria that ancient Chinese people followed. It is these moral principles that have helped maintain China's social stability and harmony, and enabled China to prosper.
However, after the wicked Chinese Communist Party came to power, these traditional moral criteria were labelled as "feudal morality and rituals," "foolish devotion and filial piety," etc. The Chinese people no longer dared to advocate these basic moral principles, and some even viewed them as hindrances to the modernization of China. Having lost the foundation of these traditional moral values, people used the Party culture to replace these traditional values. This has resulted in a profoundly detrimental impact on Chinese society at large, and a root cause for many of China's social problems, such as rampant corruption, unethical business practices, and human rights abuses, to name a few.
The performances of Divine Performing Arts aim to revive the pure and righteous traditional Chinese culture, and to restore the moral integrity and spirit of the Chinese people. Pieces such as "The Loyalty of Yue Fei," "Mulan," "The Monk Who Endured," "Divine Messenger" and "A Dunhuang Dream," bring to life China's traditional principles to awaken the best of the human spirit.
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